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Entries in Michigan State (4)


OGS Spotlight Game Of The Week: Michigan State At Michigan

Picture Of Denard Robinson

One Great Season

Sure Alabama's game at South Carolina looks like a dandy, but Michigan State-Michigan appears, on paper at least, to be more evenly matched.

Sparty and Big Blue are both 5-0 overall and 1-0 in the Big Ten, but neither squad plays exceptional defense. In fact, Michigan's pass defense is ranked last in the FBS, allowing 308 yards per game through the air.

The Wolverines, however, have perfected the ever-baffling formula to overcome a porous D, and it's called Denard Robinson. As long as he stays healthy, which will become an increasingly larger if as the Big Ten season wears on, Michigan has a chance to win every game it plays. Every game.

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Wednesday Hoops Notebook: Badgers Ready To Pounce

Jordan Taylor

One Great Season

After Tuesday's convincing defeat of Michigan State, Wisconsin (17-5, 7-3 Big Ten) has a very favorable remaining schedule down the stretch. The Badgers already have split with Purdue and Ohio State, and the toughest league opponent left for them is Illinois, which Wisconsin will play twice. Two games against Indiana also await, as do games against Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern and Iowa.

The Badgers seem to be rounding into form as they await the return of Jon Leuer. Left on Michigan State's schedule are road dates at Illinois and Purdue, as well as home games against Ohio State and Purdue. And Sparty (19-4, 9-1) might have to play without reigning Big Ten Player Of The Year Kalin Lucas, who left Tuesday's game with a badly sprained ankle.

With Purdue getting healthy and Ohio State playing some nice basketball, the conference race just got a lot more interesting.

TWITTER NOTES: Here's a sign that we are definitely living in an interesting time: Ohio State star Evan Turner, whose Twitter handle is @thekidet, offered up a sympathetic note ("glad u ain't get hurt on that fall my dude") to Syracuse star Wesley Johnson -- @W_Johnson -- after Johnson landed very awkwardly during Tuesday's game against Providence.

Shortly after Syracuse wrapped up the easy win, Johnson, who ended up being OK, reciprocated: "Appreciate it bro."

TEXAS BOAST: I know it's just one win, but I think Texas has broken free from its slump. You barely heard the names Damion James, Avery Bradley, Dexter Pittman or J'Covan Brown on Monday night's broadcast, yet the Longhorns beat a decent Oklahoma State team on the road by a dozen. That's impressive, as was Jordan Hamilton's second-half scoring spree.

UCONN'T HANDLE THIS TRUTH: Connecticut isn't struggling because its coach, Jim Calhoun, is on medical leave. The Huskies are struggling because they're just not as good as they usually are. Kemba Walker and Jerome Dyson are nice guards, but there's not much else about UConn that excites me.


No. 10: Indiana State vs. Michigan State, 1979

Magic Johnson, Larry Bird

Each Monday until the national championship is played in Indianapolis on April 5, One Great Season will count down the Top 10 National Championship games since 1979, when Larry Bird and Magic Johnson squared off in Salt Lake City. Today's No. 10 is actually that 1979 game between Indiana State and Michigan State.

One Great Season

That Michigan State beat Indiana State, 75-64, is almost irrelevant.

The 1979 national championship is known as the game that really put the great sport of basketball on the map. The TV map, at least.

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Sure, there were great Final Fours long before Larry Bird and Magic Johnson led their teams to Salt Lake City, but this one in particular, thanks to those two, introduced the nation to what would become arguably the biggest sporting event in America: March Madness.

Contrasting styles made the Bird-Magic rivalry intriguing for a national television audience that to this day remains the most watched national championship game in NCAA history.

One was a hillbilly, blue-collar white kid from rural Indiana against a flashy magician with a million-dollar smile. One was a lights-out shooter, the other an assist king who practically patented the no-look pass. Each made his teammates around him better, and both filled up their stat sheets by being multi-dimensional.

Magic Johnson, Larry Bird

On the night that Bird and Magic closed out their brilliant collegiate careers, a great American rivalry was born and even more sparkling NBA careers awaited for them both. The fiery competitors would become great friends despite their three head-to-head NBA Finals matchups. Magic's Lakers would take two of those three and five championships overall, while Bird's Celtics won a total of three NBA titles. All 10 of the NBA Finals played in the 1980s included at least one of these teams.

In fact, when the Celtics edged the Lakers in 1984, the seventh game of that series drew the largest television audience in NBA history, and the second-largest audience to ever watch a basketball game, behind -- you guessed it -- that 1979 NCAA title game.


Gameday Gallery: Michigan State at Notre Dame

One Great Season

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- My week in South Bend has come to a close, and it ended on a great day.

Under sunny skies, I made some new friends at a very lively tailgate party for several hours, then took my $100 scalped ticket to the 11th row behind the north end zone -- with Touchdown Jesus at my back -- and watched an exciting game between two teams trying to be better than mediocre.

Neither Notre Dame nor Michigan State was excellent Saturday, but each showed flashes good enough to win. The Irish got a late touchdown, a picture of which you can see below, then stopped a Spartan drive with a red-zone interception with less than a minute left.

To see the day in pictures, click the picture of Golden Tate catching the game-winning touchdown pass below. And PS, I have to check out of the hotel pretty soon, so I'll add captions maybe later tonight: