Finally it has been released-- Michigan State's men's basketball schedule, 28 games long, 16 Big Ten battles. No Michigan home game-- totally dumb, but that's Big Ten basketball scheduling for you. The Spartans play once in Ann Arbor. MSU opens league play at Minnesota at 6pm New Year's Eve and then plays at Northwestern the following Saturday. There are five non conference games in the Breslin Center-- Idaho, Alcorn State, Bradley, the Citadel and Kansas, the defending national champion, visits on Saturday, January 10th. No game time has been assigned for that game as yet.
I'll be at the Spartan Hall of Fame Cafe Thursday, 7:30pm-9pm to emcee a pep rally for MSU fans in anticipation of the home opener against Eastern Michigan on Saturday. Mark and Becky Dantonio will be there, along with players and the MSU band. First come first serve and 20 per cent of the evening's proceeds to go Ele's Place-- Becky Dantonio is an honorary chairman of the fall campaign.
The Tigers' tragic number is 13 after the White Sox won 4-2 at Cleveland on Wednesday. Any combination of Tigers losses and White Sox wins totalling 13 mathematically eliminates the Tigers from the playoffs. The Tigers are a mere 6-12 in their last 18 home games and 2-6 on this current homestand. They host Anaheim for two more before heading to Minnesota on the week end. The Tigers are 66-72 and they've never recovered from their 0-7 start. They have 12 home and 12 away remaining. They end with four home games against the Tampa Bay Rays and will those games have a bearing on the pennant race? An argument can be made that the Tigers are the most under achieving team in the major leagues this season. I'm surprised like most everyone else-- I thought they'd be better obviously than what their record indicates. And just think they have to go at least 16-8 to have a winning season-- and that seems like a longshot these days.