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Sully's Court: Sparty is alive

Posted by Joe Sullivan, Globe Staff  February 23, 2011 10:56 AM

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On second thought: Maybe I shouldn't have written Michigan State off. In a tense struggle against Minnesota Tuesday night, it was the Spartans who made all the plays at both ends of the court in the critical moments to win, 53-48. Minny looked like it had things in hand with a late 5-point lead but couldn't put Sparty away. Trevor Mbakwe, a Sully's Court favorite, had several chances to score a big basket for the Gophers but came up short. Very disappointing loss for Minny. On the other hand, Sparty and Tom Izzo are alive and well and a feared first-round opponent in the NCAAs.

Minny's first cousin: At the same time Minnesota was dissolving, my clicker trigger thumb was in fine form so I could see Vanderbilt absolutely melt on its own court in the face of a Tennessee comeback that saw the Vols win, 60-51. You can't have too much confidence in a team that can't hold a late lead at home and it happened simultaneously to Minnesota and Vanderbilt.

THE streak is over: Cal Tech's 310-game conference losing streak ended last night with a 46-45 victory over Occidental. Cal Tech hadn't won a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference men's basketball game since Jan. 23, 1985. Everyone celebrated by solving some impromtu mathematics problems in their heads and out loud.

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