Tag Archives: Michigan State Spartans

NCAA Tournament Bracket

By Josh Kramer

Take a look at the official March Madness selections from TheSportsKraze…

2012 NCAA Tournament Bracket

Elite Eight:

Kentucky over Duke

-The Laettner shot of 20 years ago is still fresh in the minds of Big Blue Nation.  Too much Kentucky talent and too much Anthony Davis for the Blue Devils this time around though.

Michigan State over Marquette

-Marquette’s dynamic senior duo of Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder have been impressive  all year.  But Tom Izzo’s smarts and Draymond Green’s unwavering work ethic will prove too much in this one as the Spartans make their 7th Final Four appearance in 14 years.

Florida State over Syracuse

-The Big East regular season champs would have proven to be far too deep for a Florida State team that vastly exceeded expectations this year had Fab Melo been on the floor.  No “Melo,” means no Final Four for a very good Syracuse team.

North Carolina over Kansas

Tyler Zeller and Thomas Robinson battling it out in the paint?  It doesn’t get much better.  North Carolina not only has the size to match up with Kansas, but they also have the depth.  There will be no Rock Chalk Jayhawk on this day as Roy Williams breathes a sigh of relief.

Final Four:

Kentucky over Michigan State

-This has been the best coaching job of Tom Izzo’s career.  Finally, the lack of talent in Spartyville will be put on full blast against the nation’s most talented group out of Lexington.  The Spartans will have no answer for Anthony Davis, much like the rest of the nation.

North Carolina over Florida State

-So much for the ACC being down this year.  Beating a team two times in the same year is one of the most difficult things to do in college basketball.  Defeating a team three times is almost unheard of.  Just ask a Kentucky team that was clearly better than SEC-foe Vanderbilt.  UNC is the better all-around team.  And it will show on this day as they avoid a clean sweep from Florida State.

National Championship:

North Carolina over Kentucky (73 to 72)

-As we learned in the BCS Championship Game this year, beating a great team two times in the same year can be very difficult. Not only did UK defeat the Tar Heels back on December 3rd, but they also beat North Carolina in last year’s Elite Eight. Young Kentucky learns the hard way on April 2nd against a surging Tar Heels team that can match their depth and athleticism.  Let the Calipari questioning begin.

Good luck with your picks and enjoy the best three weeks we have in sports.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

March Madness 2012 Preview

Photo courtesy of bleacherreport.com. The Road to the Final Four begins tonight in Dayton. Here is a guide to help with your bracket.

By Josh Kramer

For the first time in a very long time, there will be no “Food for Thought” today (Tuesday).  A higher being has taken charge.  And that would be none other than March Madness.  Sure there are other things going on in sports, but what else do you really want to talk about?  Sorry Peyton.  You will be taking a back seat today.

The brackets are finally set.  And as usual, Joe Lunardi did a wonderful job with Bracketology, correctly guessing 67 of the 68 teams in the field.  The guy is unbelievable. But enough speculation.  Let’s talk about the actual tournament bracket.

South Region:  The Region of Prestige

Overall Analysis

-Many are proclaiming this the best region in the field.  I do not agree (I think the East is).  But without question, it is not short on “prestigious” programs such as Kentucky, Connecticut, Indiana, and Duke. In addition, three of last year’s Final Four participants reside in the South (Kentucky, Connecticut, and VCU).  But let’s be entirely realistic.  This region starts and ends with the Big Blue Nation.  If Kentucky comes to play, they won’t lose.

Winner

-Kentucky

Sleeper

-Connecticut

Upset Alert

-Xavier over Notre Dame

Fun Facts

-The Connecticut Huskies are praying that history does not repeat itself. Each time UConn has won the title under Jim Calhoun (1999, 2004) the following year has resulted in a second round exit from the tourney (would be third round this year).

-A number one overall seed has been revealed each of the past eight years.  The top seed has only reached the Final Four three times. The only number one overall seed during this year eight year stretch to win the title was Florida in 2007.  Kentucky is praying that they can accomplish what their SEC rival did five years ago. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 2-27-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Tennis season is getting ready to heat up. Is it time for Andy Murray (pictured above) to break through?

By Josh Kramer

So the dunk contest was a joke.  Ryan Braun somehow defeated the system.  RGIII once again proved that he is fast.  And College Hoops did not disappoint (I mean when does it at this time of year).  Last week was jam-packed.  But the week ahead should be pretty good in its own right.

5. One of the best tournaments in tennis (outside of the 4 Grand Slams) is just one week away.  I am of course referring to the BNP Paribas Open at lovely Indian Wells.  But before the tour makes the anxiously awaited stop in California, the players have to take advantage of the two tune-ups provided this week. Djokovic, Federer, and Murray will all showcase their abilities at the ATP Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship, while the ATP Abierto Mexicano Telcel will also be taking place in Acapulco, Mexico.  Though most will not hold their breath in regards to these two tournaments this week,  they should.  Just like in any sport, the hottest players are the ones that take home the big-time tournaments.  Winning a tune-up typically signifies a “Hot-Streak.”  Who will get hot this week? Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 2-13-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Golf took a trip down memory lane this weekend with both Phil Mickelson (left) and Tiger Woods (right) in contention on Sunday. Mickelson ended up going home with the victory.

By Josh Kramer

“Linsanity” has hit a whole new level as the lowly New York Knicks have now won five straight games.  The little-known point guard out of Harvard whom nobody wanted is now both “known” and “wanted” by all.  Though it was weird having no professional or collegiate football games this past week, it still was a great week in the wide world of sports.  As I always like to say though.  On to the next one.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am was without question a blast this past weekend.  It was quite refreshing to have some of the “Big” names in golf back around the top of the leaderboard (Mickelson, Woods).  For a short period, it felt as if golf was drifting back into the golden era of five years ago.  Mickelson came out victorious, while Tiger struggled to a 15th place finish (though he was in contention until the final round).  Well the tour does not start and end in Pebble Beach.  Next weekend, all eyes will be on the Riviera Country Club in California.  CBS will be heading up the coverage.  I have a distinct feeling that the Woods/Mickelson Show could return in the very near future. Continue reading

Throwback Saturday Part IV

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. A little over a year ago today, Jerry Sloan (pictured above) was forced into stepping down from his position as the Head Coach of the Utah Jazz.

By Josh Kramer

So when I originally constructed the idea of “Throwback Saturdays,” I figured I would do it for a month or so.  It would be a change of pace for you all and give you some time to reflect a bit. With that being said, I feel as if this idea has been a rousing success thus far, at least from the feedback you all have given me.  Please provide further feedback in the comments section.  I have a feeling next week you may be seeing “Throwback Saturday Part V.”

Unfortunately, I did not put up a post on February 11th in either 2010 or 2011.  So I apologize for letting you all down on those particular dates.  We will just have to settle for dates very close in proximity.

One year ago (February 10, 2011)..

Sayonora Sloan

Here is a snippet from the middle of the post..

Sloan is one of the greatest offensive masterminds of our generation.  The guy has won his entire career.  He handles his business the right way.  No ridiculous off court mishaps with this guy.  Yet ownership has chosen Deron Williams as the future?

Unless you live under a rock, you probably know who Deron Williams is.  He is a 5th year All Star point guard who played college ball at Illinois.  The guy is arguably the best point guard in the League (I would currently rank him behind Rose, Rondo, and Paul in all honesty though).  Any guy that puts up 20 points and 10 assists a night is doing something right.  But it has been well documented that Williams and legendary coach Sloan have had their fair share of tussles over the past year (To finish reading the post, click this link). Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 2-6-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Kentucky super freshman Anthony Davis (pictured above) has quickly become the frontrunner for the Naismith National Player of the Year Award.

By Josh Kramer

For the first time since the beginning of September, there will be no organized football games to speak of.  America’s favorite sport will now go into hibernation until training camp and spring ball begins.  After last night’s “Super” spectacle in which Eli Manning outdid Tom Brady, watching the pigskin get tossed around every Saturday and Sunday will be sorely missed.  But on to the next one.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Despite much indecision and turmoil in the form of a 130 day lockout leading up to the 92nd NFL season, the 2011/2012 NFL season did not disappoint by any means.  If anything, the sport grew in popularity.  ESPN proclaimed this the “Year of the Quarterback.”  I think without question, next year should be the “Year of the Tight End.” Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 1-16-2012

Photo courtesy of latimesblogs.latimes.com. Kobe Bryant (pictured above) has shown no signs of aging after putting up 40+ points for a fourth consecutive game on Saturday. Can he lead the Lakers to a victory in Miami on Thursday?

By Josh Kramer

The clock finally struck midnight on “Tebow Time,” or at least for the time being, and the globe is still spinning.  “Lob City” staked their claim to Los Angeles.  And the 49ers won against an outstanding Saints team in a game that will go down as one of the all-time greats.  The past week, or even the past day for that matter, was classic.  This week should be pretty fun in its own right though.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Pitchers and catchers start reporting in 33 days (February 18th for a lot of teams).  MLB baseball is just around the corner.  And the Yankees finally broke their silence on Friday in a big way.  Who else is already very excited for the 2012 baseball season?  Keep an eye this week on what happens with marquee available players such as Prince Fielder, Rick Ankiel, and many more.  Will your favorite team pick up the piece they need to make a deep run in October?

4.  Kobe Bryant has now put up 40 or more points four straight games.  So much for the 33-year-old wearing now.  Any chance he will eclipse his nine-straight games of 40 or more points back in 2002/2003? Continue reading

Food for Thought 1-3-2012

Photo courtesy of bostonherald.com. Rex Ryan (pictured above) is not the happiest of people as we begin 2012. Has he learned any lessons over the course of the past year?

By Josh Kramer

2012 has already begun with a bang.  Football, football, and more football.  Plus some hoops and hockey among other things sprinkled in.  Who else is in BCS Heaven and hyped for the NFL playoffs?  Here are the items that have caught my attention

Rethink your priorities Rex

-Rex Ryan has admitted to possibly not having the “pulse” of his team this season.  Maybe he should have thought about this type of thing before running his mouth.  Rex Ryan has quickly become one of the most villainous figures in football.  If you are not a fan of the New York Jets, you are not a fan of Rex Ryan.  There are not too many people who are neutral towards Rex Ryan.  Every sports fan has a pretty definitive stance regarding the New York football coach. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 1-2-2012

Photo courtesy of sportsillustrated.cnn.com. Can Dirk Nowitzki (pictured above) get the Mavericks back on track this week?

By Josh Kramer

Happy New Year to all!  2011 has finally come to a close.  And boy was it a busy year in the wide world of sports.  In the words of the greatest rapper of our generation (Jay-Z), “On to the Next One.”  2012 will for sure be a memorable one with so much going on as we enter the first week.  Plus, the word CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) has officially become a foreign term again in that no major sports agreements are expiring in the near future.  Here are the events to keep an eye on this week.

5.  The Miami Heat finally appear to be the “Unstoppable Force” that many envisioned a year ago.  LeBron, Dwyane, and the “MonStars” are now 5 and 0 and straight cruising (they defeated the Bobcats by 39 yesterday).  It is so nice to have the NBA back.  What would SportsCenter be without a highlight featuring Blake Griffin and the newly formed “Lob City” on a nightly basis?  Though there are many great games this week, my eyes are fixed in on a showdown in San Antonio.

Dallas Mavericks at San Antonio Spurs:  Many of you are probably questioning my choice for the “NBA Game of the Week.”  Why would anyone in their right mind choose a game that features teams with a combined record of 4 and 4?  A matchup that pits the teams that occupy the cellar and the first place spot in the Southwest division?  Well its simple frankly.  This is the “Battle of Texas.”  The Mavericks and Spurs have been perennial contenders for some time now and are two teams commonly vying for the Western Conference Championship. Continue reading

College Football Bowl Picks Week 3

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. The top matchup this week has to be the Stanford vs Oklahoma State Fiesta Bowl date. I have a feeling Andrew Luck (pictured above) will play a large part in the outcome.

By Josh Kramer

Please somebody explain to me why it is called “Capital One Bowl Week?”  We are now entering Week 3 of bowl season.  Why isn’t it “Capital One Bowl Month?”  I would love to hear the reasoning.  12 bowls down, and 23 to go.  19 games will be played between now and next Thursday.  Strap in, because the beat will not stop until January 9th as we start to hit the “real” bowl games.

Thursday:

Florida State vs Notre Dame (CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL)

-Fighting Irish by 3

Headline:  Brian Kelly brings home a second straight bowl game victory to South Bend.

-Let’s just call this the “Year Away Bowl.”  Both of these teams had lofty expectations to play in BCS Bowl games this year.  Neither was ready.  Notre Dame is slightly closer to being ready in my opinion though. Continue reading