Michigan State Basketball Game by Game Prediction 2016/17

By mpcarey
Nov. 10, 2016

11/11 vs Arizona*: 1-0, Sean Miller and Arizona only have 7 players on scholarship available for the first game of the season with one of the best freshman in the country in Miles Bridges coming right at them.  Tum Tum Nairn makes a statement on his jumpshot making three 3's in the first half.

11/15 vs Kentucky*: 1-1 Miles Bridges hasn't adjusted to the time change yet and gets really sleepy during the game taking a nap at halftime.  With Bridges tired, Michigan State only manages 60 points and gets beat 75-60.  Tom Izzo uses this to humble a very talented freshman loaded team.

11/18 vs Mississippi Valley State: 2-1, Tom Izzo will always respect opponents but this is not going to be a repeat of Texas Southern from 2014/15.  Confidence booster win to get the Spartans over .500.

11/20 vs Florida Gulf Coast: 3-1, Only one off day between games?  Not a big deal since the starters only played 4 minutes of the second half two days before this.  Look for FGCU to give run with the Spartans for the first half in this one but backcourt depth will eventually wear down the Eagles.  A solid win against a team of overachievers and a good coach.

11/23 vs St. John's*: 4-1, Chris Mullin's program is a mess right now.  Spartans have dinner the night before with Marvin Clark Jr.  Tum and Clark have an emotional moment before the game followed by a 25 point beatdown in which Clark goes 1/12 for 5 pts and 2 rebounds.

11/24 vs VCU*: 5-1, VCU loses 2 of their top 3 scorers from last season but is still a well coached team.  Spartans hold on in OT as Tum Tum Nairn banks in a free throw to put them up 1 with 2s left.  With no timeouts, the Rams try a Hail Mary pass that is picked off by Mark Dantonio in the second row for MSU's best football play of 2016.

11/25 vs Louisville*, 5-2: The Cardinals lost their leading scorer in Damion Lee from last season but this team is still loaded.  The Louisville players think they see one of their recruiting escorts in the stands so they get off to a slow first half start but quickly refocus.  The Spartans cannot shoot their way out of Louisville's 2-3 zone and go stagnate.  So much so that Kyle Arhens is in a close game with 5 minutes to go.  Arhens is then benched after hospitalizing a Louisville tuba player with an airball.  In the postgame press conference he announces he is transferring to Albion College.

11/29 @ Duke: 5-3, Coach K once again thanks Tom Izzo before the game for scheduling him despite his 1-9 record going into this game.  Grayson Allen walks into the arena with a Trump hat to one of the loudest ovations in the history of Cameron indoor from the Crazies.  But the real story in this one is Matt McQuad coming out with a 21 point (7x 3 pointer night).  Unfortunately, the magic fades as the Spartans come up just short when Allen flops on a 50 foot heaving allowing Duke to win by 1 with 3 freethrows with no time left.  The closest Spartan to him, Draymond Green in the crowd, is called for the foul and ejected for arguing.  The NBA issues a $15,000 fine and 1 game suspension for the upcoming NBA finals vs. the Cavs the next day.

12/3 vs Oral Roberts: 6-3, One week following "The Game" in Columbus, the Breslin Center scoreboard still announces the Ohio State victory to the cheers of the Izzone.  The Spartans are finally home and shoot the lights out leading to a big win.  Miles Bridges apologizes the next day after saying Robert Morris played a tough game in his postgame press conference following a 40 point win.

12/6 vs Youngstown State: 7-3, In a bit of a trap game, Cameron Morse comes out hot with 18 first half points.  However, Bridges accepts the second half challenge on the defensive end.  Morse is swatted into the 4th row followed by a technical foul which leaves him walking to the bench at the end of a second half rout while the Izzone erupts with chastising cheers of "MOR-SEY".

12/10 vs Tennessee Tech: 8-3, After playing 3 top 10 teams in their first 8 games.  Spartan fans scratch their heads as Tom Izzo's lineups reach a new level of strange: Tum Tum Nairn, Cassius Winston, Eron Harris, Matt McQuaid, and Josh Langford at one point.  With a 30 point lead, Izzo realizes no players over 6'5" are in the game and the clipboard breaks.

12/18 vs Northeastern: 9-3, With over a week off you would think maybe the Spartans could have some rust? Nick Ward gets the ally-oop from Bridges to start the game which ignites the alumni Izzone. 

12/21 vs Oakland: 10-3, Ok we are finally on the last nonconference game.  This game isn't nearly as close as last year but the Grizzles are still hanging around late in the second half.  Matt McQuaid has a coming out party banking in the last of his 9 x 3 pointer night after which Tum Tum Nairn jumps on his back and rides him like Yoda on Luke into the locker room.  

12/27 @ Minnesota: 11-3, Tom Izzo gets bingo on coaches with slicked back hair (Sean Miller, Will Wade, Rick Pittino and Coach K) and asks Rich Pittino to sign his card before the game earning him a free wrap from Conrads when he gets back to East Lansing.  Joshua Langford asks Izzo why they are playing in a barn and because he still doesn't get it, becomes frustrated dropping 28.  Goofer fans boo Rich Pittino out of the building before asking for a ride back to Michigan on the team bus for their bowl game in Detroit.

12/30 vs Northwestern: 12-3, With no bowl game to attend, Spartan alumni fill the Izzone to the brink and the hula skirt guys are the only entertaining part of this game by the second half.  Alvin Ellis receives a technical for dumping a fans water on himself because he's "just that hot" after scoring 12 straight.  Ellis then proceeds to exit the 36 point lead and doesn't play for 2 weeks.

1/04 vs Rutgers: 13-3, Yes the Spartans win their 8th straight and jump back into the top 10.  Following the 40 point laugher, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany publicly apologizes for adding the Scarlet Knights to the conference.  

1/07 vs Penn State: 14-3, The Spartans don't play ANYBODY in the early part of the Big Ten season.  The Nittany Lions put up a fight as Eron Harris and Matt McQuaid go into OT playing NBA 2K in the locker room and don't come out until the second half.  That's the most competitive basketball the Breslin center has seen this season so far. 

1/11 vs Minnesota: 15-3, Rich Pittino is no longer at the helm of Minnesota but this matchup is much closer than the first.  Not playing a top 50 RPI team in a month and a half makes this a scary game for the Green and White.  However, they pull it out in OT when Sparty trips up Nate Mason on the sideline with 5s remaining in a tie game.  The ball rolls right to Casious Winston who almost goes the wrong way but Mile Bridges steals it from Winston and lays it in as time expires.