Blake Froling

Opinion: Top Sleeper Teams in the NCAA Tournament

Every year during March Madness, as I look over my bracket on the first day of the tournament, I feel pretty confident with my picks. All it takes is about four hours of basketball for my hopes and dreams to be crushed by the ‘Little Sisters of the Poor’ knocking off my Goliath that I picked to go to the Final Four. So before you make the mistake of looking past the lower seeds, here are some potential sleeper teams that could ruin everybody’s bracket.

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Impact Izzone – 3/14

After a two-week hiatus, Hayes and Blake make their triumphant return to breakdown all of the Big Ten tournament action and start to look forward to the Big Dance.

The duo also previews Michigan State’s quarterfinal game against the Northwestern Wildcats. Read More…

First Round Predictions for the B1G Tournament

The regular season is finally over, and the fun can officially begin. March college basketball is perhaps the most entertaining basketball in the world, and we are right in the middle of it. The Big Ten tourney kicks off on Thursday in Indianapolis, Ind. so here is a prediction of every game in the first round.

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Big Ten Title Hopes Fading Fast

With Sunday’s 79-70 loss at the hands of the Wolverines, Michigan State is virtually eliminated from one seed contention for the tournament. The Spartans dropped five spots to No. 18 in both polls this week while Michigan moved up four places to No. 16. With only three games remaining in the season, MSU must focus on their own play, not what everyone is doing around them.

In Joe Lunardi’s latest bracketology, he has the Spartans down to a three seed. With only three games left in the regular season, MSU needs to focus on winning out for any chance at a Big Ten regular season title. The Spartans are one game back in the loss column from Michigan, who has a much easier end to the regular season.

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Pistons Hit Rough Stretch, Drop Five of Six

23-34 is not usually the record of a team in playoff contention.

Through a coach firing, bricks galore and a horrible conference, the Detroit Pistons miraculously find themselves four games out of the playoffs with 25 games remaining. Their recent 1-5 stretch has not helped their chances, but with no one wanting to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, Detroit is in prime position to screw up yet another season.

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Spartans Look to Take down Rivaled Wolverines in Weekend Showdown

The No. 13 Michigan State Spartans (22-5, 11-3) are headed to Ann Arbor, Mich. to battle against the rivaled No. 20 Michigan Wolverines (18-7, 10-3).

Not only is school pride on the line, but a chance at winning the conference title is on the line as well.

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Spartans Shoot the Lights out in Win Over Purdue

Gary Harris and company hosted a shooting clinic in West Lafayette, Ind. on Thursday.

Michigan State started their game against Purdue on an unprecedented 11-14 streak from beyond the arc. Harris led the way for the Spartans with six three-pointers, finally breaking out of his shooting slump. He finished with 25 points, far surpassing his average of just over 13 points per game during his six-game shooting slump.

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Road to the B1G Title Even Tougher with Loss to Nebraska

When Terry Braverman, the PA announcer at the Jack Breslin Student Events Center, announced the score of the Wisconsin vs. Michigan men’s basketball game, the crowd erupted. Bo Ryan and his squad did their job and dismantled Michigan in Ann Arbor.

All Michigan State had to do was beat a middle-of-the-pack team and they would sit alone atop the Big Ten.

But the Cornhuskers had other plans.

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Impact Izzone – 2/7/14

This week, host Andrew Hayes returns to discuss all of the hoopla surrounding MSU’s injuries. Keith Appling was ruled out for the Penn State game and Branden Dawson is still nursing his broken hand.

On the brighter side, Adreian Payne returns from his absence and the Impact Izzone crew break it down.

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NBA Trade Deadline Targets: Jeff Green

With just two weeks until the All-Star break, the Pistons find themselves a half game out of the playoffs in an embarrassingly weak Eastern Conference. With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, Joe Dumars will almost certainly make a move that could make or break the season.

Jeff Green was a standout at Georgetown before being drafted No. 5 overall in 2007 by the Boston Celtics. He was traded to Seattle on draft night and spent three years with the SuperSonics and the Thunder. Green was traded back to the Celtics in 2011 at the trade deadline, but missed the entire 2011-2012 season with a heart complication

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Role Players Plugging the Hole for MSU

One slam of a hand, and MSU’s season could have been up in flames.

Without their top two rebounders, the Spartans could have imploded and limped along until Adreian Payne came back. But the role players for Michigan State have done their best to plug the gaping hole left by Payne and Branden Dawson so far. Read More…

Opinion: Pistons Need to Shake Things Up

After a MLK Day drubbing by the Los Angeles Clippers, the Detroit Pistons found themselves with a record of 17-24. At this time last year, an “inferior” Pistons squad was 16-25. The addition of superstars does not guarantee success, I suppose. Detroit must do something to break out of their funk and take advantage of a weak Eastern Conference, and it starts with the starting lineup.

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Opinion: Dawson Disappointing but Knows His Role for MSU

In November, I wrote an article about how Branden Dawson would be the X factor for Michigan State this season. At the time, he had been bragging about his new-look jump shot that would transform his game.

As of now, nothing has really changed for the junior from Gary, Ind. Read More…

Bright Spots in a Bleak Season

What was once considered a slow start is now turning into a disappointing season for the Detroit Pistons.

As owners of a 14-22 record and a six-game losing streak after their loss to the Raptors Wednesday, underachieving might be an understatement. There have been a rash of injuries and a few benchings along the way, but the season is still young. Luckily for Pistons fans, there are a few bright spots for coach Cheeks’ squad. Read More…

Marquee Matchup: Aaron Craft vs. Keith Appling

When talking about Ohio State, the first player that comes to mind is most likely point guard Aaron Craft.

In his senior season with the Buckeyes, Craft is the leader of an undefeated and third-ranked team heading into only its second true road game of the season. He is not expected to put up 20 points a night, but defense is how he earns his keep.

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Dawson Stars in Return as Spartans Rally Past Nittany Lions

With Branden Dawson and Matt Costello returning to the lineup, MSU (12-0, 1-0) looked to steamroll the up-and-coming Nittany Lions (9-5, 0-1). Dawson missed the New Orleans game with an injured shin, and Costello missed the last four games with mono.

In his last press conference, Tom Izzo said his team would have their work cut out for them in Happy Valley.

The Spartans stumbled out of the gates, finding themselves in a 10-3 hole in the opening minutes of the game. Read More…

Payne Has Career Game as Spartans Down Longhorns

Erwin Center was rocking on Saturday, as the upstart Texas Longhorns hosted number five-ranked Sparty. Rick Barnes’ squad was looking to avenge their 67-56 loss from last year in East Lansing.

Texas surprised many experts this year, starting the season 10-1 with an impressive win over North Carolina in Chapel Hill. MSU came into the game shorthanded, with Matt Costello out due to illness and a banged-up Gary Harris coming off the bench. Read More…

Pistons Recap: December 4-13

BMO Harris Bradley Center hosted the Pistons, on December 4, to take on the struggling Bucks. Detroit jumped out to a seven-point lead after the first quarter. Andre Drummond was a force early in the paint, scoring seven points and grabbing six boards to lead the Pistons.

But the Bucks charged back, opening the second quarter on a 19-5 run to take a 38-31 lead midway through the frame. Read More…

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