Spartans open Midnight Madness with bang

Head coach Tom Izzo was entered the arena in a Hummer and was wearing a complete army outfit in honor of the soldiers in Iraq. After player introductions there was ten-minute inter-squad scrimmage that was more like a slam dunk contest for the fans to enjoy.

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The 2005-2006 MSU college basketball season got under way with midnight madness on Friday night at the Breslin Center. MSU men's and women's basketball teams put on quite a show for their fans, the program was called "A Spartan Solute".

Head coach Tom Izzo was entered the arena in a Hummer and was wearing a complete army outfit in honor of the soldiers in Iraq. After player introductions there was ten-minute inter-squad scrimmage that was more like a slam dunk contest for the fans to enjoy.

"We wanted to honor all the people who keep us out of harm's way everyday. They're the ones who deserve the applause," Izzo told MSU sources.

The MSU men's basketball team will have to live up to high expectations this year. In the pre-season polls that come out this week, Sporting News ranked the Spartans No. 1, while four other polls had MSU in the top-5.

The Spartans are the dominate favorite to win the Big Ten this year and many publications have them picked to go to the Final Four as well. They are returning four starters and the team will be anchored by senior center Paul Davis.

At MSU's media day Davis said, "We welcome the target on our backs. We're not hiding from anybody."

MSU will get a chance to prove to the nation that they are a legitimate contender for the national title when they play in Hawaii, at the Maui Invitational. Other key non-conference games include Georgia Tech and Boston College.

MSU finished last season with a 27-6 record and took second place in the Big Ten, behind Illinois. The Spartans will have January 5, 2006 circled on their calendar as they open Big Ten conference play at Illinois.

The Spartans will begin the season with an exhibition game against Lake Superior State on November 7, 2005 at the Breslin Center


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