Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Catching up with Spartan sports

I haven't been too engaged with MSU sports this winter, certainly not as much as I have in the past. As I wrote in my previous post, events in our country and the world have rendered sports not as important or noteworthy as they once were.

Ironically, this season I have tied my personal record for Michigan State men's basketball games attended in person. I've been to eight games this season, and it would have been nine if my younger son's birthday hadn't been on MSU's senior day. (I decided to stay home and hang out with him). The Spartans have won every game I've attended this year, and my overall "in person" win-loss record is 46-3.

However, when I'm not at Breslin, I haven't been watching Spartan hoops that much. I think I've watched about one or two games on television. I just can't sit still long enough to watch a 2+ hour game on TV.

It's been a bumpy, rocky season. There have been key injuries and a young core of players who've had to learn how to play together, but it looks like maybe they are finally doing that. Miles Bridges has been excellent almost all year, but it's taken Nick Ward, Joshua Langford, and Cassius Winston most of the season to come into their own. After all the ups and downs they've been through, the MSU hoops team remarkably sits at 10-6 in the conference with an outside shot of tying for the regular season title. Who really saw that coming? Before we get too excited, though, the Spartans' final two regular season games are tough road contests against Illinois and Maryland. 10-8 is a real possibility.

The other news on the MSU sports landscape hasn't been as uplifting. The Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal has given Michigan State unwanted publicity, and the football program has a dark cloud hanging over it with a sexual abuse investigation of its own. It seems that ever since getting demolished by Alabama on December 31, 2015, the football program has hit the skids both on and off the field.

Oh, and the hockey program is a complete train wreck.

So the only reasonable bright sides this winter have been men's and women's basketball. But even the women's team has had a scare with Coach Suzy Merchant's health problems.

That's where we stand right now. I'll revisit this blog when March Madness begins.

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