We're going to war early today.
Thanks to Daylight Savings Time, a late night from covering high school ball last night, and a noon tipoff, my eyes are barely open this morning as I get ready to watch Purdue take on Michigan State in the regular season finale. There really isn't much at stake for either team in this one. Some are arguing that Michigan State has a chance for a #1 seed, but I think they are pretty much a lock for a 2 at this point. There isn't as much enthusiasm about this game as there was before our losses to Michigan and Northwestern, but that is to be expected.
Spartans Weblog - Solid statistical analysis, but they sound about as excited as we are. I think both teams just want to get to the Big Ten Tournament.
SpartyMSU - No real updates this week.
The Enlightened Spartan - There are a series of good and bad points here. The good is that they point out the chance for Michigan State to win the league by four games, something that has never happened before. As tough as the league has been this year that would be very impressive. As it is, they will win by two games even with a loss today. I know we helped with some bad losses, but I think we probably would have had at least three losses going into today regardless of health issues. MSU has had health issues to and they have done very well.
The ES gets demerits though for using the "Purdon't" term. Come on guys, you're better than Notre Dame! I also now want this game for the shot he took at the changeover from Off the Tracks to Hammer and Rails
By the way, I HATE the SB Nation and long for the old Off the Tracks -- SBN just a terrible blog interface to read.
Well, that's not really a shot at me per se, but I am trying to stir the fires of hatred a little for a game that has lost some luster recently. We all know it is essentially the same blog as Off the Tracks was in terms of content, but I actually like the interface for editing purposes a lot better. Of course, I am lazy when it comes to learning web-design, so it is my fault.
Off the Tracks/Hammer and Rails original preview - Much of the same remains true, and we pulled it off in West Lafayette by playing our best game of the season and thoroughly dominating the Spartans in the second half. Since basketball is often about matchups I honestly think Michigan State is one of those teams that we happen to just match up very well against. In watching the Big Ten very closely for the last two seasons I have seen that we consistently perform well against Wisconsin and Michigan State, while teams like Northwestern and Ohio State often cause us trouble because of match up issues. Last year we were supposed to be severely overmatched in East Lansing, but nearly pulled out a win sans Robbie Hummel.
Like always, this game will be determined by how we start. These guys have had a few days to sit and stew over the Northwestern loss. I think we can still gain a top four seed in the NCAA's, but getting this game would go a long way toward that. Marcus Green must have a great little things game. JaJuan has to dominate the offensive end and continue to be a force defensively. Kramer needs to thoroughly disrupt Lucas and we need to maintain our defensive pressure of not even allowing teams a second to call a play in the halfcourt. We've gone away from that the last few games. We were far from aggressive against Northwestern and it cost us.
If the Purdue that played them in West Lafayette shows up that is the only way we get a solid road win to finish the season. Purdue 66, Michigan State 65.