No More Letdowns, Spartans Must Maintain Intensity

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No More Letdowns, Spartans Must Maintain Intensity

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O.K. the Spartan Nation is frustrated. They should be. This team put on a great performance at the Brez, but to be frank it was a performance that we should have seen a much earlier than February 20th.

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The Spartans finally played the way we were promised that they would be playing all season. This is the team Tom Izzo promised us last year in the locker room after the UNC loss.

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All season, the Spartans have gotten early leads and let their foot off of the gas. They have shined only to disappear. This week was different. They admitted to me (you can click on the Hondo’s House ICON on the right and watch yourself) that last year’s team would beat this year’s after the IU loss. Then comes a visit by the Magic Man and they come out and play like the Final Four and Big Ten champion team they were supposed to be. I am not saying the play was directly tied to the visit, but it was a part of the preparation.

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Well now is their chance. They should win again Saturday, but this team has to prove that they can be whom they are. Can they play that way on the road? Can they play that way against much better competition than that of PSU?

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The Spartans are out of excuses. The Spartans have no more wiggle room. They have all but played themselves out of the Big Ten title race and they are in trouble of even losing the gift wrapped home dates in Detroit for the dance.

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At the end of the day, who cares if they play in Detroit? I would much rather play in Podunk U out west and make a Final Four, than be in the D and lose early. I get that, but a deep run sure is easier if it goes through the D.

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This team has shown us what it can be. This team has shown themselves what they can be. Now they have to be it. Not against PSU at home, but against better teams on the road and in the tournaments.

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I am excited about the win against PSU. I just want banners. I just want championships. That is what this program is about, and that is what the expectations are. This program wants them, and they have them. Here we are in late February…it is time to step it up. No excuses.

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No more playing down to the competition. Now it is time to be the Spartans. Now is the time for this team to step up and be the dominant team that they are. Who cares who is in the uniforms we are playing against. It is time they worry about-facing the Spartan Nation, not us worrying about them.

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Mateen told me once, “When we stepped on the court, we didn’t really care who it was. We were MSU. They cared that it was us but we didn’t care that they were who they were. We respected them, but they feared us.”

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That is what I am talking about. It is about time to get back to what this program represents and what it is. It is time for other teams to fear us. It is time for these Spartans to play like they just did. No excuses. No letups. No going backwards.