Michigan State Spartans

David Hookstead | Reporter

Fans gave Minnesota star Jordan Murphy an emotional goodbye after losing to Michigan State Saturday night.

The Gophers got blown out by the Spartans in the second round of the NCAA tournament, but that didn’t stop the fans from showing their appreciation for Murphy, who has been a major part of the Minnesota program these past few years. (RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

Coach Richard Pitino pulled him from the game with just under a minute and a half left as the crowd got to its feet, and started applauding.

The senior star shared some emotional hugs as he went down the bench.

That’s how this journey will end for every single player on ever single team except one. Sports are about huge emotional swings, and most people will hang up their shoes without ever getting close to a championship.

I have no doubt last night was a hard pill to swallow for Murphy. I have no doubt at all, but the sting of losing his final March Madness game will eventually fade.

When it does, people will always remember just how great he was for the Gophers.

Props to him on a very successful career in the Big Ten. Now, it’s time for him to go make some money playing this incredible sport.

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Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

Scott Van Pelt has gone viral for some comments defending Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo.

Izzo tore into Aaron Henry during their first NCAA tournament game against Bradley, and he refused to apologize for his treatment of the freshman. (RELATED: Tom Izzo Goes Ballistic On Aaron Henry, Refuses To Apologize)

You can watch the intense moment below.

Obviously, some people (not me) thought Izzo took it too far. Van Pelt wasn’t having it. He absolutely shredded Izzo’s critics in an awesome recent rant on ESPN. (RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

He specifically called out the people who don’t “really want context,” but just “want to be mad.” Watch the incredible segment below, which has since blown up on Twitter.

I agree with pretty much every single word spoken by the ESPN host. This is major college basketball we’re talking about here. It’s going to be tough. It’s not always pretty. That’s just the fact of the matter.

Izzo wasn’t pleased with his guy, and he let him have it. That’s called coaching and holding people to a standard of excellence. If we’re not going to do that, then why are we even playing the game?

This is March Madness. Everything is on the line. Izzo should lose his mind if his players aren’t giving their all.

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Good for Izzo for refusing to apologize, and props to Van Pelt for calling out the ridiculous critics. I couldn’t agree more with either of them.

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Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

The Big Ten has dominated March Madness through the first two days.

Seven teams from the conference advanced to the second round of the tournament. That ties the tournament record, according to ESPN. Michigan State, Purdue, Michigan, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, and Ohio State all advanced. (RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

Only my beloved Badgers fell short.

As painful as it is for me to admit how bad yesterday was for the Badgers, I’m glad to know the rest of the conference showed up and showed out for Big Ten country.

Putting seven teams into the second round is absolutely absurd, and has only happened two other times in tournament history. (RELATED: Watch Wisconsin Beat Kentucky In The 2015 Final Four)

We’re now over 20 percent of the remaining field. Not bad for a conference that apparently can’t do anything athletically, according to the peanut gallery that is incredibly vocal.

You might as well shut down the internet if the B1G continues to tear it up because the gloating is going to be next level. I can promise you that much. Yes, my Badgers went down, but everybody else is picking up the slack.

This is March, and this is when we take over. I hope the critics saved their receipts. It looks like they’re going to be eating some of their words.

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Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo got into a heated altercation with one of his players Thursday, and he’s not backing down from it.

Izzo lost it on Aaron Henry during a first round NCAA tournament win over Bradley. I’m not just talking about a minor exchange of words. (RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

The legendary MSU coach had to have other players step in to calm him down. Watch the wild video below.

After the game was done, Izzo didn’t back down from his reaction. He told the media the following after the big win, according to ESPN:

What’s wrong with challenging a kid that makes some mistakes? Aaron Henry — trust me — did some things that you can’t do as a starter on a top-5 team at the end of your freshman year. They were effort-related. I did get after him. He did respond. He did make a couple of big buckets. He did make some big free throws but that’s not good enough. It’s one-and-done time. The ‘my-bads’ are out the window.

This might not be a popular opinion, but I don’t think Izzo did anything wrong here. This is March Madness that we’re talking about. It’s not clear what fired up the Spartans coach so much, but he clearly felt more that justified. (RELATED: Watch Wisconsin Beat Kentucky In The 2015 Final Four)

If you don’t want your coach lighting your butt up on national television in front of the whole country, then don’t make “effort-related” mistakes. It’s not that hard to figure out.

Sometimes, people think we need to deal with each other while wearing kids gloves. Younger people just can’t handle criticism. It’s embarrassing.

Izzo and his guys are out here trying to win games. If you’re not going to bring it at a high level, then we’ll see you later.

Besides, the Spartans won the game. He’s got absolutely nothing to apologize for. Sports can be ugly sometimes and emotions run high. That doesn’t mean anything wrong happened.

Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

The Big Ten has another accomplishment to hang on the wall.

The conference led the country with the most teams to make the NCAA basketball tournament and to make a football bowl game. (RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio State and Minnesota all made both. No other conference had more than five teams.

Oh man, do you hear that noise off in the distance? That’s the sound of millions and millions of SEC fans losing their minds, and I couldn’t be happier.

Look, I know that I rag on the SEC on a routine basis, but it’s only because they deserve it. The people down there are great. Don’t get me wrong. (RELATED: Clemson Beats Alabama For National Title)

People in SEC country are incredible. I love all of them. They’re awesome and the women are hot. Having said that, nothing is more fun than watching them explode with jealousy.

Here’s the deal, folks. If you don’t want the Big Ten rubbing it in your face and laughing at you, then have more teams in the big dance and in bowl games. It’s really that simple. This isn’t rocket science.

As for the big boys in the Big Ten, we just continue to dominate. When the lights come on, you either perform or fade away. There are no other options.

As for my fellow Midwestern people, let’s enjoy watching our teams stomp all over people in a few days. It’s going to be fun!

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Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

The Big Ten showed up and showed out on Selection Sunday.

Eight teams from the conference were selected for the tournament, which led the way and is a record for the league, according to the NCAA. The ACC and SEC both put seven teams into the NCAA tournament(RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

The B1G is represented by Michigan State, Purdue, Michigan, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio State and Wisconsin. (RELATED: Duke Favored To Win March Madness, Gonzaga And Virginia Follow)

If that’s not a strong group of teams, then I just don’t know what is.

Stop me if you’ve heard this story before. Everybody doubted the Big 10 all year. Everybody overlooked us because we weren’t a sexy conference with our style of play and then we showed up when it matters.

It’s a story as old as time, and it’s one that I never get tired of hearing or seeing play itself out.

It’s almost like people involved in the B1G fandom pride ourselves for having a chip on our shoulders. We damn well should given how little respect we get for the product we put out and results we actually get. (RELATED: Watch Wisconsin Beat Kentucky In The 2015 Final Four)

Of course, it’s now time to go out and ball against the best teams in the country. None of this will matter if we go out and get smacked in the first round of the tournament.

You can see the whole bracket below, and analyze all the games for yourself.

As for those of us repping B1G schools, it’s good to know the committee got it right. Now, we march towards chaos and a championship.

God bless this beautiful sport and country.

Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

Michigan State player Kyle Ahrens suffered a gruesome ankle injury Sunday against Michigan in the Big Ten title game.

Ahrens injured his ankle as it appeared to bend, and the video will make you want to vomit. It’s one of the most disgusting injuries that I’ve ever seen in my life. (RELATED: Michigan State Favored To Win Big Ten Basketball Tournament)

Watch the disgusting video below.

My friends, it really doesn’t get much worse than that at all. An ankle injury like that can change your career forever if it becomes a worst-case possible situation.

The Spartans redshirt junior has a long road ahead of him, and I doubt he’s about to suit up in the big dance. If it’s as bad as it looked, then he should just be happy if he’s ready to play next season.

You just hate to see an injury like that. Hopefully, he’s able to bounce back better than ever, but the road to recovery won’t be an easy one.

What an awful situation for the talented basketball player.

Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

The Wisconsin Badgers appear to be in some serious trouble heading into the tournament.

Yesterday, I guaranteed a win against Michigan State in the Big Ten tournament in the semi-finals. I woke up, and I just felt something in my bones. The air just felt different.

It seem like we were destined for a big win. Well, it turns out my read of the air and the feeling in my bones couldn’t have been more incorrect because the Spartans tore us up to the tune of 67-55. (RELATED: Watch Wisconsin Beat Kentucky In The 2015 Final Four)

There wasn’t enough alcohol in the world to ease the pain of watching my Badgers play some terrible basketball, and that’s saying something because yesterday was full of Saint Patrick’s Day parties. As I sucked down a few cold Miller Lites, I began to wonder if we’re in big trouble. We couldn’t score, our defense was porous at times and our shooting was awful. I’m not sure how much worse it honestly could have gotten.

The brackets will get announced later today, and the seed we get won’t matter if we play like we did yesterday. ESPN has us currently slated as a four. That’d be nice, but I’m not confident we’ll get out of the first round if Saturday’s game is a preview of things to come.

Part of being an honest man is calling things how you see them. I might love my Badgers, and I’ll rock with them to the end of time. My loyalty isn’t to be questioned, but yesterday was atrocious. It has me nervous at the very least.

The only thing left to do now is buckle down, and prepare for battle. The whole state is in this together. Tune into the selection show on CBS at 6:00 p.m. EST to see the brackets.

Let’s all hope like hell what we witnessed yesterday was a one-off event, and not the mold for my team going forward. Otherwise, I have no doubt the fans will be ruthless to me!

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Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

Wisconsin won a close one against Nebraska 66-62 Friday, and a matchup with Michigan State looms on the horizon.

Not only was today a day for college basketball, it was also a day for drinking beer in honor of our Irish friends. I showed up to the bar expecting Wisconsin to roll Nebraska as I celebrated our friends across the pond. That didn’t happen.

While the beer was flowing freely, my Badgers were struggling. It wasn’t pretty. Yet, it never is in March. We do battle on the court because at this point we’re playing for the right for 40 more minutes. (RELATED: Watch Wisconsin Beat Kentucky In The 2015 Final Four)

What I saw today wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t pretty at all. Having said that, as a Wisconsin man, you learn to fight in the dirt. You learn to get into the mud. That’s all part of the process, and we clawed our way to a victory today. (RELATED: Wisconsin Blows Out Iowa 65-45, Khalil Iverson Throws Down Big Dunk)

Now, we have a fight with Michigan State Saturday 1:00 p.m. EST on CBS. My friends, it’s going to be brutal.

The Spartans think they can take this tournament with ease. They’re about to learn that they’ve got another thing coming. They want no part of what we’re bringing tomorrow. I can guarantee you of that much.

Make sure to tune in as we stomp them all over the court. It’s going to be required watching for fans of the sport.

Pray for MSU. They have no idea what is about to hit them. They’re honestly entering this game thinking they’re going to win. You almost have to field bad for them. They have so much joy and optimism. Don’t worry. We’ll snuff that out quick enough. Don’t miss it!

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Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

The Michigan State Spartans are favored to win the Big Ten basketball tournament.

The top teams, according to OddsShark, are as follows:

  1. Michigan State +140
  2. Michigan +225
  3. Purdue +300
  4. Wisconsin +600
  5. Maryland +1400

Michigan State and Michigan seem like the obvious picks here, but I’d actually avoid both. It’s not that I don’t think they can win. I most certainly do, but I just don’t see a lot of value in the Spartans and Wolverines. (RELATED: Wisconsin Blows Out Iowa 65-45, Khalil Iverson Throws Down Big Dunk)

The value starts with Purdue down, and there’s a ton of it in Wisconsin at +600 and Maryland at +1400.

Let’s take a look at the path for those two teams. Maryland plays the winner of Nebraska/Rutgers Thursday and then will almost certainly end up playing Wisconsin Friday. (RELATED: Watch Big Ten Network ‘The Journey’ Segment On Ethan Happ)

After that, there will likely be games against Michigan State and Michigan/Purdue in the title game. It’s not an impossible path, and there’s a ton of value in the numbers you’re getting.

I’m not putting a penny on either school from Michigan, but I might not have a choice when it comes to Wisconsin at +600 and Maryland at +1400.

Again, that’s not to say the Spartans or Michigan won’t win it all. I’m just talking about value here, and the Badgers and Terrapins are criminally undervalued.

Sound off in the comments with who you’re taking and your predictions for the tournament. Action gets underway tomorrow. I know you’ll all be watching.

Source: The Daily Caller

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