Spartan Basketball - We Guarantee These Things Will Happen (Unless They Do Not)

Spartan Basketball - We Guarantee These Things Will Happen (Unless They Do Not)

Basketball

Spartan Basketball - We Guarantee These Things Will Happen (Unless They Do Not)

Next Tuesday night, #10 Michigan State tips off the ’18-’19 season against #1 Kansas in the Champions Classic.  A typically challenging non-conference schedule comes before the standard grind of what will now be a 20-game Big Ten schedule. What are some things that we are absolutely, positively certain will happen this coming season?

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Another season of Michigan State basketball is upon us.

As usual, we’re all challenged by the calendar that, at this time of year, creates Head-On-A-Swivel Syndrome for Green & Whiters since, no matter what The Circus act down the road wants to yell and scream about, Mark Dantonio’s gang is barreling towards yet another meaningful season while Tom Izzo readies his gang for what everyone expects will be another march to a Final Four and, perhaps, that elusive second national championship.

As we’ve chronicled over the last handful of months, Izzo is coming off of what has to be considered his most challenging year as Michigan State’s head coach.

Forget for a moment that he and the Spartans had the gigantic target on their backs from the moment Miles Bridges announced that he’d come back for his sophomore year rather than head off to collect his NBA riches – the off-the-court challenges that followed the program all season almost made Izzo seem like another person for long stretches.

For all intents and purposes, Izzo and the Spartans can consider last year’s challenges and distractions to be in the rearview mirror.

The tragedies associated with the Larry Nassar crimes will always be present for Michigan State and the university has only now begun to work on regaining the trust after so much heartache.

But, this basketball season can be a part of the university’s rebirth and Izzo can be just the man to jumpstart the new energy off of which all Spartan can thrive.

What are the things that we’re guaranteeing will be actual occurrences, trends, accomplishments, or rumblings that will make this coming season another one in which Michigan State basketball warms the winter for all who follow it?

  • Over the course of a typically brutal non-conference slate that starts with a battle against #1 Kansas in the Champions Classic, Michigan State will win all but one of the clashes and have a very impressive 10-1 non-conference record.
  • With the 20-game Big Ten schedule in effect this year, the Spartans have a few conference games earlier than usual. Including the November 30th and December 3rd games at Rutgers and at home against Iowa, when Michigan State fully plunges into the Big Ten schedule against Northwestern on January 2nd in East Lansing, the Spartans will be 12-1 and just on the edge of the nation’s Top 5.
  • During the post game press conference following a January 17th loss to Nebraska in Lincoln, Izzo will passively aggressively allude to the challenges his team is facing due to several players being sick with RSV/Bronchiolitis, Influenza and Croup, a few players have tough classes with demanding professors, the rigors of getting on and off of airplanes, and the fact that one of his players was being examined by physicians for having a mild case of vertigo.

  • Cassius Winston will establish himself as the Big Ten’s premiere player by continuing to be the top 3-point shooter in the conference while having fewer turnovers than Antoine Joubert had meaningful victories.

  • Nick Ward will be Michigan fans’ least favorite player in the Big Ten due to the fact that Nick Ward will be a beast all season and will be averaging a double-double by the time the first matchup between the Spartans and the Wolverines arrives on February 24th.

  • Since Tom Izzo has eyes and ears and and brain and an appropriate sense of history and was able to absorb all of the……..stuff……that occurred before, during, and after the brawl between Michigan State and Michigan at Spartan Stadium on October 20th, the Spartans will not let up one bit as Michigan State defeats Michigan by at least 25 points at Crisler Arena Center Field House Center on February 24th.

  • Joshua Langford will remind Spartans of Jason Richardson all season long in the way Langford elevates his game in every way and forces Dan Dakich to acknowledge that he has game.

  • Xavier Tillman will become an absolute force to be reckoned with on the offensive low post and a defensive menace down low on the other end.  And he’ll do it all with his smile that will be matched by his toughness.

  • Matt McQuaid will become an even more rock solid contributor by being even more forceful with the ball and finding opportunities to slash to the basket while also delivering death blow shots from the perimeter when it matters most.

  • On Saturday, March 9th, all of The Experts will arrive in East Lansing in anticipation of a Top 10 matchup between Michigan State and Michigan.  Channeling all of the magic from March 4, 2000, Izzo unleashes his Spartans and another 25-point victory is cause for the roof of the Breslin Center to crack and partly cave in.  Izzo waits until after the game is, indeed, over with – but he still relishes every second of the raising of the banner that celebrates a second straight (and 9th overall) Big Ten regular season championship. Spartan fans forgive Izzo for not beating the Wolverines 114-63 as they did in 2000 – but the forgiveness is conditional.

  • Since Michigan State doesn’t make t-shirts that say “Revenge Tour” due to the fact that the program is above such silly axiomata, the Spartans simply go about their business and cut down the nets at the end of the Big Ten Tournament and wait for the confirmation of what is expected – a #1 seed on Selection Sunday.
  • Despite a scare or two along the way, Izzo’s #1 seeded Spartans manage to remind everyone in the college basketball world that Michigan State has part ownership of the month of March.  Guided by Cassius Winston’s All American type of overall play, the Spartans cut down the nets after winning their Regional Final and make it clear that the Spartans will head to Minneapolis focused on taking care of long-overdue business.

That’s as far as we’re willing to go at this point, folks.

Of course, all of these prognostications are guaranteed – however, we qualify our guarantees by saying that none of them might actually come to fruition.

One thing is a guarantee –

Tom Izzo and the entire Michigan State basketball program are going to do what they’ve done for 23 straight years now: warm up the long winter and give Spartans all across the state of Michigan, all across the Midwest, and all across the nation plenty of reasons to be proud and excited as they all fight and march right alongside the Spartans in their quest to cut down as many nets as possible.

Including, of course, that final net on the last Monday night of the season.

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