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SpartanValor

First Round: Michigan State @ UCLA

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From the St. Pete Times Forum, in Tampa Bay, Florida

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The First Round* of the 2011 NCAA Tournament

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AT

UCLA Bruins

8 Time Final Four Participant:

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Round 1

Location: St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa Bay, Florida

Date: Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Time: 9:20PM EST

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Television Broadcast Provided by:

TBS

Radio Broadcast Provided by:

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www.spartansportsnetwork.com

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PPTPW

Edited by SpartanValor

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Izzo's winning percentage in the NCAA tournament is .745 -- only Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams have fared better -- and he has led Michigan State to the Final Four the last two years and to six of the previous 12, winning the national championship in 2000.

9 Sweet 16's the past 13 years. That stat is almost as good as the final four numbers.

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Michigan State opened as a one-and-a-half point favorite.

I saw that, thats interesting. A 10 seed favored over a 7, both from BCS conferences.

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Anyone remember the last time we played in the 7/10 game, with UF as our bracket's 2 seed, also down in Southern FL???

2003 beatdown.

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Boy I hate saying this but I don't really see any reason MSU can't beat UCLA and Florida. Not saying they will, but they're certainly winnable games.

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Lights, TV's still on in MSU basketball offices

That should come as no surprise, and I'm guessing it will stay that way into the wee hours. Players attended a brief film session earlier this evening and have since been sent home.

On a related note, Kalin Lucas was asked tonight what makes MSU so good in the NCAA Tournament. He replied "The coaches" without hesitation.

"During this time of year the coaches don't sleep," Lucas said. "We sleep, but the coaches and staff, they're scouting and they watch a lot of film and they just try to have us prepared to win."

I also asked Lucas about his ankle and how it felt after three games in three days.

"It feels a lot better," Lucas said. "It's still a little sore, but the soreness should be gone by tomorrow. ... I think definitely by Tuesday or Wednesday it shouldn't even hurt anymore."

Dan Kilbridge

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I guess old news now, but I loved this quote from Izzo yesterday...

Asked after Saturday's loss if he would prefer to just know his team's fate now, rather than wait, Izzo replied quickly, "No, I don't."

"I want it to be as miserable as it can be the whole day," he said. "Seriously. I really do. … I'm not kidding when I say that."

No, he's not. He says he'll use it to fuel his desire to fix what went wrong this season and to make sure it doesn't happen again.

"If I didn't have to worry about it, then I probably wouldn't learn from it," Izzo said. "So I'm gonna worry about it, and I'm gonna watch it, and I'm gonna put down all the things where one game could've made a difference."

From The Detroit News: U-M, MSU belong in big dance, but still have to sweat it out | detnews.com | The Detroit News

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Lots of similarities between these two teams this year: Neither are very good at taking care of the ball; neither scores well from the perimeter, both have been pretty solid defensive clubs...

One primary difference should be perimeter length - where the Bruins may have a noticable advantage (assuming Malcom Lee's knee is truly getting back near 100%). MSU lack of perimeter defensive length has been felt and felt deeply this year, imo. The loss of Chris Allen and in particular the graduation - of the disgustingly underappreciated - Raymar Morgan has had the requisite affect on our ability to defend quality perimeter length. On the plus side, Izzo clearly understands this and has taken the steps to address it accordingly. On the downside, it won't happen until August...

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Sparty ranked the best mascot in the field out of all 68 teams! :cheeky:

Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots

Now this is how you do a mascot from the ancient world. Michigan State's Sparty is the total package. Iconic, imposing and good to look at.
Edited by monkeynuts

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Heck, while we're at it, MSU/UCLA ranked as best matchup of all 32 Thurs/Fri games...

Top 10 second-round matchups

The Bruins have been to three Final Fours in the past five years, while the Spartans have been to six of the past 12. Neither is likely to get that far this season, but it's a great matchup of proud programs and outstanding coaches in Ben Howland and Tom Izzo. Game time: Thursday, 9:20 p.m. ET

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Tomorrow: st pattys day, first day of tourney, msu plays, and SV finds out where he is going for residency.

I'm a wee bit excited for tomorrow. My liver is not.

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I'm bummed it is St. Pattys day... I wanted to go to the bar to watch the game but it will probably be too crowded to be enjoyable.

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Tomorrow: st pattys day, first day of tourney, msu plays, and SV finds out where he is going for residency.

I'm a wee bit excited for tomorrow. My liver is not.

Good luck, SV - hopefully you get placed in a preferable spot!

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Tomorrow: st pattys day, first day of tourney, msu plays, and SV finds out where he is going for residency.

I'm a wee bit excited for tomorrow. My liver is not.

Best of luck to you and your liver. I am certain it will be a great placement. Keep us updated.

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Sparty ranked the best mascot in the field out of all 68 teams! :cheeky:

Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots

WTF is Purdue Pete doing in the top 5? this must have been done by a big 10 fan because dude with a hammer and a giant plastic head looks like something out of the world's worst carnival parade.

of course, when your slogan "boiler up" is defied by urban dictionary as "Taking a fat, hot steamy dump" (and please note this entry precedes Purdue's adoption of the phrase by over 1 year) i guess a creepy plastic headed guy is probably an improvement on your image.

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sportsguy33 Bill Simmons

Congrats in advance to UCLA's fans for tonight's win over MSU. No way you lose that one. I'm not even gonna watch it.

I think you're wrong Bill.

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I think you're wrong Bill.

I have no idea what will happen tonight. These are arguably the two most up and down teams all year - with UCLA showing more glimmers of "up" than MSU.

Nonetheless, GO GREEN!

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