Michigan State Spartans: Memories, moments to be thankful for in 2018

Though fans have been in an uproar over the perceived lack of success of Michigan State Spartans athletics in 2018, there’s plenty for which to be thankful.

So much has been said about 2018 being a horrendous year in Michigan State Spartans athletics online, through social media, and on fan message boards. However, if we look at what has happened in 2018, fans should be thankful for all of the accomplishments and victories that Michigan State has earned this calendar year as opposed to their losses and shortcomings.

More importantly, 2018 sets up amazing possibilities for the future. The future is very bright with endless possibilities and Spartan fans should be more thankful than unthankful.

The best and most memorable victories of 2018

Men’s Basketball

  • 63-45 win over No. 9 North Carolina 63-45 in “Victory Bracket” of PK80 Invitational
  • 81-63 win over No. 5 Notre Dame
  • 68-63 win over No. 3 Purdue

Football

  • 38-31 win over currently ranked No. 14 Utah State
  • 21-17 win over currently ranked No. 15 Penn State

Hockey

  • Pair of road wins over ranked Cornell by scores of 5-2 and 4-3 this season
  • A road 2-0 victory over No. 18 Wisconsin last season
  • A 4-3 win over No. 5 Notre Dame in South Bend

Spartans getting drafted in 2018

Michigan State NBA Lottery Picks

Jaren Jackson Jr. was selected with the fourth pick by the Memphis Grizzlies and Miles Bridges was taken with the No. 12 pick by the Los Angeles Clippers (Later traded to the Charlotte Hornets) in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Spartans drafted in NFL — Streak continues

Brian Allen helped continued Michigan State’s draft streak. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the fourth round with the 111th overall pick. This marked 78 straight years of at least one Michigan State player being drafted. He being drafted continued the streak of the Spartans being one of one five college football programs to have a player selected in all 51 of the currently configured NFL drafts.

Freshman twins selected in the NHL Draft

Current freshmen Cole and Christian Krygier were both selected in the NHL draft. Christian was taken 196th overall by the New York Islanders, while Cole was the 201st overall choice by the Florida Panthers.

Accomplishments

Men’s Basketball Big Ten Regular Season Champions

  • It was their first outright Big Ten championship since 2009

Women’s Golf Big Ten Champions

  • For the second straight year, the women’s golf team captured the Big Ten title

Sweet Sixteen

  • The men’s soccer team after upsetting fourth-seeded Louisville on the road face Georgetown in the NCAA Tournament on the path to a potential national championship.

Men’s Club Lacrosse won the 2018 MCLA Division I National Championship

The near and far future, predictions for Michigan State Athletics

Being thankful that the present leads to the continuing process of great and endless possibilities for Spartan athletics. First, I believe that the Spartans will win their last regular season game and win their bowl game ending the season with eight wins. Heading into 2019, as I wrote before, I believe that the 2019 team will not only have a great chance to earn a Big Ten Championship but also a strong possibility to earn a college playoff berth.

Michigan State will likely return 18 starters for the 2019 season. It will have more depth in key positions and have an outstandingly talented and experienced group of seniors leading them. Even though this season has not lived up to the expectations and hype, the struggles and hardships will help this group continue to build character and strength that will propel them to great success in 2019.

The Michigan State men’s basketball team, as I wrote before, is destined for greatness. So far, the 2018 season has gone about as expected. However, the program is a season away from competing for an opportunity to win a national championship. I truly believe when it is all said and done by the late signing period in April that 2019-2020 will be the perfect blend of experience and talent that has not been seen before yet by Spartan basketball fans. Izzo’s plan when it is all said and done will surprise the skeptics with the third national title for the Michigan State basketball program.

Being thankful has different meanings to different people. I have not witnessed so many frustrated and angry Spartan fans as I had seen on social media, online and on Spartan message boards after the disappointing loss to Nebraska.

It’s always important to put things in context and look at the bigger picture when all hope seems to be bleak and of no use to the average Michigan State fan.

I’m not writing to cheer up Spartan fans or to give false hope but I am highly optimistic at the prospects of a bright future for Michigan State athletics. Look at what I have written about the football and basketball programs future from an unbiased point of view.

Don’t read it pointing out the what-ifs of what if four of them going are going pro and declaring for the draft or we will miss out and not get any of the highly sought out recruits, or worse yet saying what if injuries pill up and we are unable to compete.

Next: MSU basketball: 10 bold predictions for 2018-19

We can’t control the what ifs as fans but we can see the endless possibilities for success. This time, see the glass half full, not half empty.

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