Twenty Minutes Til Tip

By David Scott - November 29, 2006

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - We are about 20 minutes from tip and Van Morrison is being played on the PA system, asking us to “come on and dance.”

Speaking of dancing, this is just the kind of match-up you get come Dance Time in March, say in a good Sweet 16 or Elite 8 contest. Two power teams from two power conferences who rarely meet, yet share similar beliefs.

In the past - last year for example - BC was probably better suited to handle the bruising front court of Michigan State, mainly because of the presence of fearless Craig Smith. This Eagles team still has some size, but lacks the bulk of the Spartans and it will be interesting to see how that bulk affects the play of junior Sean Williams, who enters the game with 19 blocks in two games.

. . . The teams have only met four times and the series is tied 2-2. The first meeting came in 1947, the next in 1973, the next in 1984 and then last year’s Michigan State win the final of the Jimmy V Classic (77-70).

. . . Neitzel - known as Nitro in MSU circles - is the only full-time returning starter for MSU; three of BC’s starters - Dudley, Oates and Marshall were regular starters last season.

. . . Al Skinner is 4-3 vs. Big Ten opponents.

. . . What a great thing to be able to say in recruiting: “Every four-year player recruited by Tom Izzo has appeared in at least one Final Four before leaving Michigan State.”

. . . Since the start of the 2000-01 season, these two schools have 286 combined wins (145 for BC and 141 for MSU).

Posted by David Scott at 06:30 PM on November 29, 2006

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