Monday, January 19, 2009

More Illinois Post Game

It's two days later, and I still don't know how we won that Illinois game. The most obvious reason is our advantage on the boards, but I think Illinois playing poorly had much more to do with it. It wasn't like Michigan State got real hot and ran away with the game in the end. Instead, Illinois suddenly became ice cold and did not score in the last six minutes. I don't think that was due to stiffling MSU defense either.

Worst Plays from Illinois Game - As I said yesterday, it wasn't the number Spartan mistakes that was frustrating, it was the nature of them.
1) Walton's Free Throws - Almost all of them were ugly, but the airball was brutal. Thank god those late free throws were not needed.
2) Lucas Pass of Delvon Roe's Hip - Lucas tried to give it up to Roe as he was setting a screen. It ended up bouncing off his hip and going the other way for an Illini basket.
3) Gray Blows a Breakaway Dunk - Trent Meacham tried to strip him, but really wasn't a factor in the play. Gray just missed it.
4) Suton Fumbles Alley-Oop - He tried to convert it into a lay-up, but it didn't work.

That's Rediculous
1) Inadvertant Whitsle -The only thing worse that this play was Travis Walton's defense on Alex Legion that led to the three pointer. He got caught up in a screen under the basket and looked confused as to who to cover. I couldn't help thinking at the time that this stuff seems to always happen to us. Luckily for us, it wasn't the difference in the game however. The Spartans bounced back quickly led by Goran Suton and his quick three point shot.
2) Tom Izzo's Technical - We still don't know what led to Coach getting T'd up. The announcers speculated that he said something to a player and the refs thought he was talking to them. They also said that the particular ref that called the technical has T'd Izzo up in four out of his last five games while officiating Spartan games. If that is true, that guy shouldn't be reffing our games anymore. Someone needs to look into that.

While I Was Gone in the Big Ten
1) Minnesota/Wisconsin - The dramatic Gopher win could really help MSU down the road. The Badgers don't lose many games at home and it was surprising to see them go down to Minnesota. 2) Purdue/Northwestern - A Wildcat win would have been huge for the Spartans, but it wasn't meant to be. Despite their two losses, I still think that Purdue will be the team contending with Michigan State for the title.
3) Ohio State/Michigan - The Buckeyes seemed to bounce back with a huge game in Ann Arbor. Who the heck knows what to expect from Michigan on any given night. They may beat the Spartans at home this year and then lose to Indiana.
4) Northwestern/Minnesota - In a game that featured 19 made three-pointers, you would have thought that Northwestern would have lived and died by the three. This really wasn't the case. Craig Moore was 6-9 from distance, but the rest of the Wildcats were 3-12. The tandem of Moore and Coble proved to be the difference as they went for 22 and 20 respectively.

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