Branden Dawson

Opinion: It’s X-Factor Season

The leaves are changing and the temperatures are dropping, which means it is time for writers and bloggers to start filling headlines with their relatively unfounded predictions for college basketball.

One of my current favorites is the notion that, for the second year in a row, Branden Dawson will be the “x-factor” for Michigan State this year. Read More…

Opinion: Lack of Star Power Nothing New for Izzo

On the surface, it appears as though Tom Izzo has a recruiting crisis on his hands.

The Spartans missed out on yet another top-tier recruit in guard Jalen Brunson, who committed to Villanova University earlier in September. Brunson is the latest in a long line of missed five-star recruits in the past several years (recruiting rankings based on espn.com). Read More…

Opinion: Frontcourt Follies

Spartan basketball took a hit when it was announced that sharp-shooting sophomore Kenny Kaminski was being dismissed from the team on August 4. Kaminski tweeted on August 2 that he was transferring from MSU and was unsure of where he was headed.

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Getting to Know Marvin Clark Jr.

The recruiting class of 2014 got a little better with the signing of Marvin Clark Jr.

The 6-foot-7, 219-pound small forward committed to Michigan State a month ago, joining Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn and Javon Bess. He is a three-star recruit, according to rivals.com.

Clark is from Bel Aire, Kan. and played for Sunrise Christian Academy, the same school as Nairn.

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Spartans’ Draft Stocks after NCAA Tournament

After a disappointing loss to UConn in the Elite Eight, four Spartans now have time to think about their NBA futures.

Adreian PayneKeith ApplingGary Harris and Branden Dawson are all targets of NBA scouts and general managers. Their draft stocks have gone up and down throughout the season, especially in the tournament. Here is where each player’s draft stock stands.

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Walk the Line – #24 – 4/1/14

It was a good run.

With Sunday’s loss to the 5.5-pont underdog UConn Huskies in NYC, the 2013-’14 MSU Spartan men’s basketball season came to a close, but it was a run filled with amazing memories from the last few weeks.

Dan Krier & Ryan Smith spend Ep.24 of Walk the Line discussing the Spartans’ final game and look forward to this weekend’s upcoming Final Four battles in Dallas.

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Trip to North Texas on the Line against UConn

Tom Izzo has never coached a senior that has not made it to the Final Four. A win on Sunday against the Connecticut Huskies will continue that incredible streak.

No. 7 UConn is a bit of a surprise team to make it to the Elite Eight, beating No. 10 St. Joseph’s, No. 2 Villanova and No. 3 Iowa State on its way. The Huskies are led by arguably the best point guard in the nation, Shabazz Napier.

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Spartans Survive

Nothing came easy for MSU Friday night as they upset No. 1 University of Virginia, 61-59, in one of the Spartans’ hardest fought victories of the year.

Tom Izzo’s team lost the turnover and rebounding battles, but managed to pull out a win thanks in large part to Branden Dawson who recorded a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds.

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Spartans Match up with Cavaliers in Sweet Sixteen

Madison Square Garden will be rocking Friday night when two of college basketball’s hottest teams face off for a bid to the Elite Eight.

No. 1 Virginia cruised through their first two games of the tournament, beating No. 16 Coastal Carolina and No. 8 Memphis by a combined 29 points. The Cavaliers earned the No. 1 seed by beating Duke in the ACC Tournament and have one of the best defenses in the nation.

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Walk the Line – #23 – 3/25/14

Sweet, then Elite!

Episode 23 of Walk the Line finds Dan Krier & Ryan Smith in the midst of NCAA Tournament heaven. Time to break down the Sweet 16 & Elite 8 matchups, with Thursday and Friday’s spreads on the board waiting to be picked apart, including MSU vs. UVa.

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Spartans Survive Crimson, Advance to Sweet Sixteen

Harvard almost blew up everybody’s bracket on Saturday night. That is, if your bracket has not already been blown up.

With 17:38 remaining in the game, a Branden Dawson throw-down gave the No. 4 seeded Spartans a 16-point lead and all of the momentum they needed to bury No. 12 Harvard, but the Crimson pulled the upset in the second round, and they had their eyes on the Sweet Sixteen.

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Payne Drops 41, Spartans Cruise past Delaware

The road to North Texas started out on the right foot Thursday, as Michigan State soundly defeated their first round opponent, No. 13 Delaware.

Adreian Payne played like a man among boys from start to finish, scoring 23 points in the first half alone. MSU muscled their way to a quick 18-point lead with less than six minutes to go in the first half, but Delaware made a run and cut the deficit to 11 by halftime.

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Spartans are Big Ten Tournament Champions

Early in the first half, Travis Trice hit a pull-up jumper and could be seen saying,

“That’s easy.”

That is the way Michigan State made it look as they defeated the University of Michigan 69-55 Sunday afternoon.

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MSU Rolls Northwestern

On the hardwood at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, there were at least seven slips on the court throughout the first ten minutes of the game.

The falls may have been caused from the slick floor, or perhaps a bit of first half nerves. For Michigan State and Northwestern players, it could have been more than that.

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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…

Spartans Finish Home Schedule against No. 24 Hawkeyes

With their shot of at least a share of the Big Ten regular season completely gone, Michigan State tries to build their tournament resume as they take on Iowa Thursday tonight in East Lansing.

The Spartans have dropped their last two games and three out of their last four. Including tonight’s Iowa game, MSU has two games left before the start of the Big Ten tournament.

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Illinois Outworks Spartans

It would appear that Michigan State has decided to take the weekend off for the past six weeks.

The Spartans dropped another head scratcher Saturday afternoon 53-46 to the University of Illinois.

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Fully Healed Spartans Take on Illini

The calendar has turned to March and Michigan State basketball hopes it brings the usual Izzo March magic.

The Spartans look to end the season on a roll as they face the University of Illinois Saturday afternoon in East Lansing. The Spartans have not won consecutive games since late January.

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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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