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How the good guys beat Duke and Kentucky

How the good guys beat Duke and Kentucky

A Michigan State fifth-year senior and an Auburn junior slew a pair of NBA Combine team dragons, leaving Duke and Kentucky short of an NCAA title – not to mention a Final Four – a fourth straight year. Experience still matters most in college basketball. Michigan State’s Kenny...

George was Zion before Zion became Zeus

George was Zion before Zion became Zeus

Excerpts taken from Raye of Light, Chapter 10: The Missing Heisman.Click here to purchase Raye of Light from August PublicationsMichigan State football legend George Webster was Zion Williamson before Zion Williamson was Duke’s basketball wunderkind. Their stories are a...

Yooper succeeds where hillbilly fell short

Yooper succeeds where hillbilly fell short

Anytime Michigan State crosses paths with LSU or Alabama, Nick Saban’s name comes up. That's true even when the subject is basketball as it was this week in Washington, D.C.. Michigan State's second-seeded team faces No. 3-seed LSU in an NCAA Tournament’s Sweet Sixteen game...

Izzo outlasts another Big Ten coaching victim

Izzo outlasts another Big Ten coaching victim

49 and counting. I wondered about a number representing Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo's success and stability spanning 24 seasons. A total besides his 22 straight NCAA trips in 24 seasons, seven Final Fours, nine Elite Eights, 14 Sweet Sixteens, nine Big Ten...

Cromartie grew into his Navy opportunity

Cromartie grew into his Navy opportunity

Nizaire Cromartie presented himself to Army and Navy as an easy target on the football recruiting trail. The academies seek guys like him -- undersized athletes carrying a chip on their shoulder to prove they can mature into a Division I player. Cromartie, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound...

Newell and Heathcote had own Izzo moments

Newell and Heathcote had own Izzo moments

L’Affaire Izzo erupted in the French-named city of Des Moines, but only casual fans viewed the flashpoint moment as abnormal during Michigan State's victory over Bradley Thursday in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament victory. Tom Izzo often snarls his teeth and strains...

McQuaid finds his range at the right time

McQuaid finds his range at the right time

Matt McQuaid spoke about “a sense of urgency” now that the senior is down to his final NCAA Tournament appearance. Win and advance, lose and go home. This time, though, it’s for the Michigan State guard’s career. And his sense of urgency was never bigger than scoring a a...

Barkley and Magic story as advice for Zion

Barkley and Magic story as advice for Zion

“When did we get to the point all people care about is money? … When did we get to the point we’ve got clowns on television saying, ‘Oh, don’t play.’ That’s what you do. That’s what we do. We play basketball. … I get so mad when people act like money is the only thing that...

Black History Month story from The Athletic

Black History Month story from The Athletic

Thanks to The Athletic for a story on Jimmy Raye and citing "Raye of Light."EAST LANSING, Mich. — The lobby of the Wharton Center for Performing Arts is buzzing on this late-September evening. Cameras are flickering in the near background. Chatter is building with each passing...

Earvin Johnson still playing throwback role

Earvin Johnson still playing throwback role

There are no more Magic Johnsons in college basketball. That has been my thought the past decade while watching one-and-done college prospects follow each other like lemmings to the same two schools, Duke or Kentucky. Their paths are considered the easiest to an NCAA title, even...