– This has become my favorite of the Thanksgiving tournaments to watch, eclipsing Maui. They consistently have strong fields, so the games are competitive, and there’s something about that heavy blue light in the ballroom they play these games in that gives it an extra “something.” It just LOOKS different than any other games you’ll see throughout the course of the season. Those MSU fans who have been able to swing making it down there for this event should have a fantastic time.
– This is an event where MSU could see a wide variety of styles. After St. John’s, they’ll either face a long team which plays a lot of zone (Baylor) or the havoc pressure style of VCU. Then if they’re fortunate enough to win the first two games, you’re likely looking at Louisville with their constantly changing defenses, shifting even within a possession. In that sense alone, this is a good experience for MSU to have.
– Getting to the final would be an accomplishment at this stage. Louisville definitely got a break on their side of the bracket. Their second round opponents (either Wichita State or LSU) aren’t what they’ve been in other seasons…I’d take both Baylor or VCU over either of those teams…so I’d expect the Ville to sort of cruise to the final. If MSU can get past St.John’s, the winner of Baylor/VCU will pose a serious challenge, though in very distinct fashion from each other.
– From my perspective, going 2-1 in this thing, however that is accomplished, would be fine. Play this thing in February on better rest and it’s likely a different outlook, but as it stands, I think expecting MSU to run the table over 3 days against this kind of opposition is probably a little optimistic. There’s a reason they play the games, though.