I remember the point where my MSU basketball interest blossomed into full-on fandom, and it was against Colorado in 2003. I was a freshman in 418 East Holmes Hall, for once living up to the Lyman Briggs stereotype of staying in on a Friday night. I wasn't expecting much (fun fact -- do you remember the Spartans losing to Toledo at home that season? Good job brain on repressing that memory), but the efficiency at which MSU dispatched the Buffaloes roped me in.
A week later, Paul Davis put Maryland away with less than five seconds as me and my fraternity brothers crowded around a 19 inch TV at a keg. I was hooked, despite the loss to Texas the next game.
Even though MSU tied Wisconsin for second in the Big Ten in 2004, the less said about Izzo's worst defensive team since 2002 according to Kenpom, the better. One game in the NCAAs, one loss to Nevada, and sayonara season.
2005, on the other hand, was magical. Not just the win against Duke (how that Ager over Redick dunk was never made into a poster was and still is mind-boggling), but double overtime against Kentucky meant it was fairly dark in East Lansing by game's end. I lived on Oakhill at the time, and my friends and I walked to MAC and Albert just in time to see:
- 50ish people in a a huddle jumping up and down yelling "FINAL FOUR! FINAL FOUR!"
- The police blocking off Albert between MAC and Charles only so that
- One group of fans could yell to the other on the other side of the street "GO GREEN! GO WHITE!"
- 2011: [SEASON REDACTED]
- 2012: Boy, that Draymond guy was good! I attended the St. Louis game and thought MSU was in trouble. Sure enough, I was with my mom at a bar (Edmond's, I think?) close to the capitol when Rick Pitino strangled the MSU offense. #1 seed, out in the Sweet 16.
- 2013: An absolutely brutal year in the B1G. MSU ranked ninth in Kenpom at the end of the season, and was only the fourth best team according to the same metric in the Big Ten. A 3 seed MSU played a 2 seed Duke. I don't need to tell you what happened next.
- 2014: The Spartans get everyone healthy and take out Wisconsin, then Michigan to win the Big Ten tourney. They beat Virginia to get to the Elite 8, against Connecticut, a 7 seed! All MSU needs to do is not play an outright crappy game and aw hamburgers.