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Angelo Roncalli
12-09-2011, 09:41 AM
One can make the argument that tomorrow's game is the biggest MBB game ever on the GU campus.

I believe it is.

In the '81-'82 season, Ray Meyer brought the DePaul Blue Demons to GU to play in the Kennedy Center. DePaul was a national powerhouse then and featured Terry Cummings. Coach Ray received a standing ovation from the GU fans when he walked to the bench before the game.

I expect the same treatment from GU fans and the KC for Tom Izzo tomorrow.

Tom Izzo is the anti-Lorenzo Romar (for one thing, he knows how to manage a team in the final two minutes of a game, but that's another story...).

The ties between GU and MSU are pretty strong. Everyone knows about the Jud connection (though probably not everyone knows that Jud's first head coaching job was at Spokane's West Valley HS). In the late 70's, Jud's #1 assistant at MSU was Don Monson (the guy who recruited Magic), Don went on to coach Idaho and Oregon and is, of course, Dan's father.

It's an honor to have MSU here and it will be an honor to beat them.

Go Zags!

77Zag
12-09-2011, 09:47 AM
+ 1
Been on the calendar to be there for this is the biggest in Kennel history --
Make it right Zags!

BobZag
12-09-2011, 09:54 AM
It doesn't feel biggest ever to me but I may be confusing "biggest" with "most important". The final series-ending UW game here felt bigger. Some critical league-clinching showdowns here felt bigger. If not bigger, certainly more important.

cjm720
12-09-2011, 10:03 AM
Yes, seems to me to be the biggest on campus, OOC opponent.

TheZagPhish
12-09-2011, 10:07 AM
Dude.

JLGutrocks
12-09-2011, 10:22 AM
Stanford Gameday?

DixieZag
12-09-2011, 10:22 AM
I would certainly say that they are the biggest name to ever walk out onto our court. Nothing even comes close.

I'm so excited to be there.

Exactly. MSU is one of the top 5 programs in the country, right there with Duke, UNC, Kentucky and UCONN - with the added bonus that they are coached by someone that everyone respects, unlike ummmm at least one of those schools I have already listed. The fact that a program like that, that a coach like that, will be in our building is really a testament to both how far we have come and how awesome coach Izzo is. MSU is one of the few B1G teams that actually plays WMU/CMU/EMU in THEIR buildings, Izzo is the anti- Romar.

Plus, both teams are at about the same stage at this point in the season, neither team has a "good win" under their belt, neither team has a bad loss (though ours is worse than their two). So, beyond the big name, there is a lot riding on the outcome of this game.

I can't wait and I wouldn't be surprised if we give Izzo a standing ovation also, apparently they will be honoring Jud before the game.

Therunner
12-09-2011, 10:24 AM
not the biggest GAME, yet definitely the BIGGEST game.

does that make any sense? hopefully you get the idea.

CaliforniaZaggin'
12-09-2011, 10:30 AM
The enormity of the game for GU is why I think we'll prevail. This is just another game for the Spartans, but tomorrow is - in many ways - symbolic of the GU's emergence and where we fit in the CBB landscape.

75Zag
12-09-2011, 10:35 AM
This game is a trap for GU. MSU is UNRANKED!!!!! Not top 5, not top 10 not top 25, not anybody. If we beat them, it will go into the record books as GU beating just another unranked school, kind of like beating Eastern or Hawaii or Oral Roberts (I hope). But if they beat us, the national press will use that as justification to boost MSU into the rankings and once they are ranked I doubt they will ever look back.

The last UW game @ GU felt like a bigger deal, but whatever.

Go Bulldogs! Get Bigger!

bballbeachbum
12-09-2011, 11:02 AM
not the biggest GAME, yet definitely the BIGGEST game.

does that make any sense? hopefully you get the idea.

yep, and I'm with CaliforniaZaggin' too...symbolic game.

I'm expecting GU's energy levels to be off the charts for this one, positive energy, it's a must for this one, and if so I think GU wins for sure

Zag79
12-09-2011, 11:09 AM
I would certainly say that they are the biggest name to ever walk out onto our court. Nothing even comes close.

I'm so excited to be there.

+1!

bartruff1
12-09-2011, 11:23 AM
I would certainly say that they are the biggest name to ever walk out onto our court. Nothing even comes close.

I'm so excited to be there. and a quality name ..

Marcel the Shell
12-09-2011, 11:26 AM
It's funny, as a Spartan reading this thread, I think what you guys have to say is a testament to our program as well. It's tough sometimes to get a gauge on what non-MSU fans think of the program. We debate it among ourselves a lot too because many people think we're kind of borderline blue blood. We don't have the elusive third title, but the last decade or so has been great and Izzo is nationally recognized as one of the best. Still, other schools have done a lot more for a lot longer. Regardless, to know people people out west no less are talking about MSU as a top-5 program and hyping this game up so much is good to hear.

I mentioned it in another thread, but the feeling is mutual. We respect your program a great deal, and Mark Few is one of the best out there. Our last meeting was pretty good, and obviously Maui was an all-time classic, so I think it should be fun.

CaliforniaZaggin'
12-09-2011, 11:32 AM
If we beat them, it will go into the record books as GU beating just another unranked school, kind of like beating Eastern or Hawaii or Oral Roberts (I hope).

Llike Gray, I have to disagree. Michigan State is a basketball factory and a household name, regardless of their current ranking. This would be a huge win that'd get GU a lot of respect from the national media. Magic went to MSU, which sufficiently crystalizes my thoughts about their program.

primal23
12-09-2011, 11:40 AM
Mich St will be the biggest opposing team to ever walk on to the MAC court, and maybe even GU campus. Props to Izzo for doing this, very very few big name schools would. Izzo is all class! Props also to Jud Heathcote(sp?) for requesting this too!

gamagin
12-09-2011, 11:47 AM
This game is a trap for GU. MSU is UNRANKED!!!!! Not top 5, not top 10 not top 25, not anybody. If we beat them, it will go into the record books as GU beating just another unranked school, kind of like beating Eastern or Hawaii or Oral Roberts (I hope). But if they beat us, the national press will use that as justification to boost MSU into the rankings and once they are ranked I doubt they will ever look back.

The last UW game @ GU felt like a bigger deal, but whatever.

Go Bulldogs! Get Bigger!

we need this victory for all the reasons pointed out that are positive. More than MSU does.

Our guys need to go to war and win one. Together.

Refuse to be dismantled and beaten by arguably superior athletes who also happen to be working on their own gelling/youth etc., issues.

This is a gutcheck for us. A big one. It's a gutcheck for them, too, but not so big.

As far as big name's go and a very big name (future consensus HOF) coach, I think this might be among the best we've drawn onto the campus. fwiw.

75Zag
12-09-2011, 12:06 PM
Yes, I agree with almost everything you say . . .

My comment was written with a cynical eye (my curse). Meant to suggest that if you are a sportswriter with the New York Post skimming Men's BB results on the wire service on Sunday morning before you write your column and go back to knoshing on Zabar's bagels and lox, if you see that GU beats an unranked MSU, you are unlikely to move the event to the top of your column, but if MSU beats a ranked GU, you are (in my uninformed opinion) much more likely to move the event to the top of your column and mention it and prognosticate about how it is evidence of a glorious future for MSU moving forward.

Not meaning that the game is not important to GU tradition, culture, etc. Just meaning that from a national media perspective, I think the game is a trap. And I do think that it is.

Now, back to my day job writing Forward Looking Statement footnotes for securities offering documents. Zzzzzzzzzz.

Go Bulldogs! Get Bigger!

Angelo Roncalli
12-09-2011, 12:16 PM
hey, while we're on the topic, what is the highest ranked team to play at the Kennel?

I remember UW being ranked in Top-10 when we beat them by 20. WSU was Top-15 one year as well.

St Joe's was ranked on NYE.

St Mary's too.

Any other ranked opponents in the Kennel(1 or 2)?

We've played Top-5 teams at Key Arena yet that doesn't count.

2-15-58: beat #12 Seattle U at Spokane Coliseum (then GU's home court)
2-15-58: lost to # 12 Seattle at Spokane Coliseum
2-4-60: lost to #2 Bradley at Spokane Coliseum
12-9-81: lost to #7 DePaul at Kennedy Center
2-20-82: lost to #16 USF at at Kennedy Center
2-16-89: lost to #23 Oregon State (Gary Payton) at Kennedy Center
1-27-90: lost to #22 LMU (Gathers & co.) at Kennedy Center
12-1-04: beat #14 Washington at Martin Center
12-9-06: beat #9 Washington at MAC
1-29-09: beat #18 St. Mary's at MAC
1-27-11: lost to #25 St. Mary's at MAC

Therunner
12-09-2011, 12:22 PM
2-15-58: beat #12 Seattle U at Spokane Coliseum (then GU's home court)
2-15-58: lost to # 12 Seattle at Spokane Coliseum
2-4-60: lost to #2 Bradley at Spokane Coliseum
12-9-81: lost to #7 DePaul at Kennedy Center
2-20-82: lost to #16 USF at at Kennedy Center
2-16-89: lost to #23 Oregon State (Gary Payton) at Kennedy Center
1-27-90: lost to #22 LMU (Gathers & co.) at Kennedy Center
12-1-04: beat #14 Washington at Martin Center
12-9-06: beat #9 Washington at MAC
1-29-09: beat #18 St. Mary's at MAC
1-27-11: lost to #25 St. Mary's at MAC

wow, thanks AR! Bolded my two fave wins above.

bartruff1
12-09-2011, 12:25 PM
Chet the Jet Walker.....and Elgin...Rolex....

DixieZag
12-09-2011, 12:27 PM
I remember the Kennel club party after the LMU game, ran straight into 3 of the LMU players, the whole team had been invited, no one gave them any crap, good times had by all.

A different time.

75Zag
12-09-2011, 12:35 PM
So the only top 5 team GU has played at home in the modern era is #2 Bradley on February 4, 1960? I think I can win some major trivia drinking bets with that statistic. I hope your research is correct AR, or I may be looking to you for indemnification.

Go Bulldogs! Get Bigger!

Therunner
12-09-2011, 12:37 PM
I remember the Kennel club party after the LMU game, ran straight into 3 of the LMU players, the whole team had been invited, no one gave them any crap, good times had by all.

A different time.

I remember having a social gathering of sorts with Pepperdine players following our first ESPN game at the Kennel in '01. They actually showed up at a KC post-game party with a couple of our players -- at first we were shocked, then we all put it behind us & had a great time. Same thing occurred after our WCC Championship win at Santa Clara in '03. Crashed a SCU house-party and Zag players(of age) were in attendance. Crazy times.

You'd have to see it to believe it.

Angelo Roncalli
12-09-2011, 12:38 PM
So the only top 5 team GU has played at home in the modern era is #2 Bradley on February 4, 1960? I think I can win some major trivia drinking bets with that statistic. I hope your research is correct AR, or I may be looking to you for indemnification.

Go Bulldogs! Get Bigger!

No common law indemnification in the state of Washington, brother. Tort reform and all of that. I'm also protected by the Statute of Anne.

Angelo Roncalli
12-09-2011, 12:45 PM
wow, thanks AR! Bolded my two fave wins above.

That '06 win against UW may have been one of the KC's finest performances. The Seattle beat writers for the Huskies were furiously scribbling down the KC's chants and taunts directed at UW. My two favorites: "Apple-bino" and "Lindsey (Hawes' ex girlfriend) dumped you." Nice work. Ranked right up there with the '04 KC reading Nate Robinson's and Trey Simmons' arrest records to them and chanting "Ear job Jensen."

Fonebone
12-09-2011, 01:03 PM
Bob Zag & The Runner hit the nail on the head.

zagfan1970
12-09-2011, 01:10 PM
hey, while we're on the topic, what is the highest ranked team to play at the Kennel?

I remember UW being ranked in Top-10 when we beat them by 20. WSU was Top-15 one year as well.

St Joe's was ranked on NYE.

St Mary's too.

Any other ranked opponents in the Kennel(1 or 2)?

We've played Top-5 teams at Key Arena yet that doesn't count.

fwiw- The women's team hosted Tennessee and Stanford, both in the top 5 and both National Powerhouses. The Michigan State game is the equivalent for the men's team.

roxdoc
12-09-2011, 01:59 PM
"Biggest" game vs Most Important home game. I would put several of the games listed above as bigger and I would say several of our home games against SMC in recent years were certainly more important.

I'm excited to have a quality team/program come to the Kennel but....?

Martin Centre Mad Man
12-09-2011, 02:05 PM
It's funny, as a Spartan reading this thread, I think what you guys have to say is a testament to our program as well. It's tough sometimes to get a gauge on what non-MSU fans think of the program. We debate it among ourselves a lot too because many people think we're kind of borderline blue blood. We don't have the elusive third title, but the last decade or so has been great and Izzo is nationally recognized as one of the best. Still, other schools have done a lot more for a lot longer. Regardless, to know people people out west no less are talking about MSU as a top-5 program and hyping this game up so much is good to hear.

There is nothing "borderline" about MSU's blue blood status in college hoops. As a die-hard college hoops fan, I'd rank MSU behind only Duke, UNC, and UCONN as a national power. Kentucky, Kansas, and Syracuse are below you guys in terms of on court success, despite the fact that they recruit more McDonald's All Americans than you do.

We are honored that you would join us in our humble abode and hope to send you home with a tough road loss that helps you get better for Big Ten play.

kramzag
12-09-2011, 02:17 PM
Yes, I agree with almost everything you say . . .

My comment was written with a cynical eye (my curse). Meant to suggest that if you are a sportswriter with the New York Post skimming Men's BB results on the wire service on Sunday morning before you write your column and go back to knoshing on Zabar's bagels and lox, if you see that GU beats an unranked MSU, you are unlikely to move the event to the top of your column, but if MSU beats a ranked GU, you are (in my uninformed opinion) much more likely to move the event to the top of your column and mention it and prognosticate about how it is evidence of a glorious future for MSU moving forward.

Not meaning that the game is not important to GU tradition, culture, etc. Just meaning that from a national media perspective, I think the game is a trap. And I do think that it is.

Now, back to my day job writing Forward Looking Statement footnotes for securities offering documents. Zzzzzzzzzz.

Go Bulldogs! Get Bigger!

You're right that on face value "Ranked GU loses to unranked MSU" seems bad, but MSU is undervalued, as far as the rankings go. Early polls are fairly subjective since the sample set of meaningful games is pretty thin. They're fringe top-25 in the main two polls but are #23 in ESPN's Power Rankings (opposed to GU being on the fringe):

http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/powerrankings/_/week/1

MSU has two losses already....to UNC and Duke. They lost those by 12 and 5 points, respectively, and we lost to Illinois by 7. MSU will continue winning games (except on Saturday!) and be a top-25 team in due time.

Regardless of all that, I see what you mean in the checking-the-box-scores sense. Glad it's in the Kennel and should be a tough game. GO ZAGS!

gamagin
12-09-2011, 02:22 PM
There is nothing "borderline" about MSU's blue blood status in college hoops. As a die-hard college hoops fan, I'd rank MSU behind only Duke, UNC, and UCONN as a national power. Kentucky, Kansas, and Syracuse are below you guys in terms of on court success, despite the fact that they recruit more McDonald's All Americans than you do.

We are honored that you would join us in our humble abode and hope to send you home with a tough road loss that helps you get better for Big Ten play.

well said.

DixieZag
12-09-2011, 02:24 PM
There is nothing "borderline" about MSU's blue blood status in college hoops. As a die-hard college hoops fan, I'd rank MSU behind only Duke, UNC, and UCONN as a national power. Kentucky, Kansas, and Syracuse are below you guys in terms of on court success, despite the fact that they recruit more McDonald's All Americans than you do.

We are honored that you would join us in our humble abode and hope to send you home with a tough road loss that helps you get better for Big Ten play.

Its not just success on the Court that makes you a top 5 program. It is also consistency - even UNC had a "down" time, as well as integrity, winning the right way, that makes MSU so special. We all look at Kentucky and sometimes UCONN and wonder whether the season will "count" in the end. There is never any question about the integrity of your program, the high academic standards of the school, that Izzo will do things the right way.

I don't think this is the biggest GAME we have ever played in the Kennel, (the conference battles are always more important) but it is certainly the biggest, most respectable program and even if Dook themselves came all the way out here to play, it would feel like "the second time" a top tier program played at our campus. Because once you have hosted MSU - then one is just splitting hairs with UNC, Dook, Kansas etc.

U Zig, I Zag
12-09-2011, 02:40 PM
If we were to ask my gastroenterologist he would probably say every game is the biggest Zag game ever.

zagfan07
12-09-2011, 03:00 PM
That '06 win against UW may have been one of the KC's finest performances. The Seattle beat writers for the Huskies were furiously scribbling down the KC's chants and taunts directed at UW. My two favorites: "Apple-bino" and "Lindsey (Hawes' ex girlfriend) dumped you." Nice work. Ranked right up there with the '04 KC reading Nate Robinson's and Trey Simmons' arrest records to them and chanting "Ear job Jensen."

Good memories there, Angelo. I was KC co-prez that year ('06-'07) and that's by far the best experience for a Zag game I've ever attended.

Marcel the Shell
12-09-2011, 10:45 PM
There is nothing "borderline" about MSU's blue blood status in college hoops. As a die-hard college hoops fan, I'd rank MSU behind only Duke, UNC, and UCONN as a national power. Kentucky, Kansas, and Syracuse are below you guys in terms of on court success, despite the fact that they recruit more McDonald's All Americans than you do.

We are honored that you would join us in our humble abode and hope to send you home with a tough road loss that helps you get better for Big Ten play.

Well that means a lot. I'm very proud of what Izzo has built at MSU, but there is still debate about the blue blood status. To me, it depends on the criteria. If you look at history and total championships, MSU is right there but on the edge. If it's more recent history, we've had more to cheer about than almost any school in the country.

Either way, I don't think Izzo or his players think of tomorrow as "honoring you with our presence." This is a huge game for MSU, and we will feel very fortunate if we escape the Kennel with a win.

Birddog
12-10-2011, 03:12 AM
Well IMO, the Sparty program is not blue blood, and that is because you're, well you're like Kermit, you're green. The true Bluebloods are Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, UNC, and UCLA. Notice, they're all truely blue, several of them that wimpy blue at that. It's not a bad thing that Sparty isn't a blueblood, it's a good thing, and for the record, UCLA is barely hanging on to their status like an aging dowager.

A grade school coach I once had would have called all those programs a bunch of "cake eaters". Cake eaters have a lot of burger boys. Sparty is a "blue collar" program, in fact they are the epitome of a "blue collar" program. Hard working, down in the trenches, successful, and a real irritant to the "Bluebloods", because you bloody the cake eatin', Burger Boys up on a regular basis.

Is Sparty a top 5 program? You bet, but Sparty is Blue Collar, not Blue Blood, and if I were a Spartan, I'd be damn proud of the fact. I think Gonzaga wants to join the ranks of the top tier, but not as blue bloods, as blue collar. We've been scrappin away for over 10 years inching our way up. Your presence in Spokane is proof that we're making progress. Blue collar teams and their fans will hoist a brew together after a battle, blue blood burger boy teams won't and I like it like that.

It's pretty simple really, given a choice of sucking down adult beverages with Izzo or coach "K", which would you choose? I thought so.

DixieZag
12-10-2011, 10:10 AM
Well IMO, the Sparty program is not blue blood, and that is because you're, well you're like Kermit, you're green. The true Bluebloods are Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, UNC, and UCLA. Notice, they're all truely blue, several of them that wimpy blue at that. It's not a bad thing that Sparty isn't a blueblood, it's a good thing, and for the record, UCLA is barely hanging on to their status like an aging dowager.

A grade school coach I once had would have called all those programs a bunch of "cake eaters". Cake eaters have a lot of burger boys. Sparty is a "blue collar" program, in fact they are the epitome of a "blue collar" program. Hard working, down in the trenches, successful, and a real irritant to the "Bluebloods", because you bloody the cake eatin', Burger Boys up on a regular basis.

Is Sparty a top 5 program? You bet, but Sparty is Blue Collar, not Blue Blood, and if I were a Spartan, I'd be damn proud of the fact. I think Gonzaga wants to join the ranks of the top tier, but not as blue bloods, as blue collar. We've been scrappin away for over 10 years inching our way up. Your presence in Spokane is proof that we're making progress. Blue collar teams and their fans will hoist a brew together after a battle, blue blood burger boy teams won't and I like it like that.

It's pretty simple really, given a choice of sucking down adult beverages with Izzo or coach "K", which would you choose? I thought so.

Ummm, plus one. Very well said.