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Time to Dance: Michigan State

Who? The Spartans of Michigan State.

What? Proof that the media has driven coverage for quite a long time: after "The Michigan Staters" was chosen as Michigan State's nickname, a newspaper editor decided that that was entirely too long for use, went through a list of contest entries, and unilaterally picked Spartans. Eventually, everyone just went with it, and the traditions associated with Sparty came into being. (My grandfather hailed from Sparta, so I'm a little sad that MSU's choice had nothing to do with the fighting spirit and iron will of that ancient city- but maybe that was the intent behind the original submission.)

Where? East Lansing, Michigan.

When? Sunday the 20th, versus Northern Iowa in Wichita.

Why? Because they're good- but because they didn't play enough good teams to strengthen their out-of-conference slate.

How? They were an at-large selection from the Big Ten.


Surprise? Nuh-uh.

Who's driving this thing, anyway? Suzy Merchant, since 2007. Am I the only nerd who thinks she looks like Dr. Crusher from Star Trek?

RPI: 16

SOS: 53

Record: 26-5 (13-3 Big Ten)

Best win: Florida State (A)

Worst loss: Iowa (H). It's hard to pick a bad loss for this team, given that three of them are to an Ohio State team that came on strong.

Notable results: Dayton (W, H, 74-62), Penn State (W, A, 60-49)

Senior forward Kalisha Keane is the workhorse for the Spartans, putting in a regular 15.9 points and five rebounds per game, but whenever I've turned on Michigan State, I've been impressed by junior forward LyKendra Johnson. She always seemed to be doing the right thing at the right time.