Condolences are in order for the University of Michigan and University of Detroit Mercy who fell last night in the opening round of the NCAA tourney. U of M rode the Upset Special with the likes of #2 seeds Duke & Missouri, Temple. While they pulled to within 3 with 4 minutes left, they couldn’t seal the deal against The Other Ohio team. Detroit came out firing and was leading with 10 minutes left in the half, but Kansas ultimately proved too much.
The Michigan State University Spartans had a hard-fought first half against LIU-Brooklyn but were powered to victory in part by the 8th triple-double (double-digit assists, rebounds & points) in (official) NCAA tournament history. It’s Draymond Green’s second, and if you’re feeling that’s something special, you probably should as others who have notched one include Dewayne Wade, Shaquille O’Neil, and Michigan’s Gary Grant officially and Oscar Robertson & Artis Gilmore unofficially. FYI, assists weren’t recorded officially until 1984. If they were, you could add 2 more by MSU great Ervin “Magic” Johnson. It’s a noteworthy feat for sure, as greats like Larry Bird, Michael Jordan and Bill Russell never did it.
The Spartans now face the 9th seeded St. Louis Billikens at 2:45 pm on Sunday. If you’re wondering “What the Heck is a Billiken?” you’re not alone. Fortunately, the folks at St. Louis University get that question a lot and explain that the Billiken was created in the early 1900s as a bank and statuette and was turned into all sorts of things from dolls & marshmallow candies to hood ornaments.
We decided we’d let the mascots settle this game in our March Madness Mascot Matchup!
Creation story: reknown 8th century fighting force vs early 20th Century novelty item. Advantage Sparty!
Muscle definition: Sculpted vs … flabby. Advantage Sparty!!
Dancing Skills: No contest (see below)
Seriously though, the Billikens are coached by a top coach (Rick Majerus) and dispatched a tough Temple team in the opening round. It’s a game MSU can’t afford to take lightly. More on the game from MSU.