Happy New Year to all. Chris and I wish all of you the best in the new year.
The No. 18-ranked Michigan State men’s basketball team missed out on an opportunity to pick up a big road victory in its 76-63 setback to No. 9 Minnesota in their Big Ten opener on Monday afternoon.
In his piece in today’s paper, columnist Graham Couch writes about how big of a missed opportunity it was for the Spartans. Couch also takes a look at the key stretch, unsung hero and what’s ahead for MSU.
On the gridiron, a disappointing season of Big Ten football concludes today with five teams in action in bowls. MSU’s Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl victory is the lone win for the conference so far (Minnesota dropped a close one to Texas Tech in the only other game involving a Big Ten team).
How will the Big Ten fare in today’s games? Georgia faces Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl, Michigan faces South Carolina in the Outback Bowl, Big Ten champion Wisconsin faces Stanford in the Rose Bowl, Northwestern takes on Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl and Purdue faces Oklahoma State in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
On the women’s basketball front, MSU (12-1) received 12 votes in this week’s AP poll. They open their Big Ten schedule with home games against Minnesota on Thursday and No. 9 Penn State on Sunday. The Penn State game will be aired on the Big Ten Network at 2:15 p.m.
As conference play begins, three Big Ten women’s teams are in the top 25 of the AP poll (Penn State at 9, Purdue at 14 and Nebraska at 25). Ohio State, Michigan, MSU and Iowa are each receiving votes.
Lastly, former MSU player and assistant coach Pat Shurmur was among the Black Monday casualties in the NFL. He was fired by the Browns after going 9-23 in two seasons.