Izzo right to call out Dakich for MSU comments, Ohio State-Archie Miller chatter, Major League tribute, etc.

Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo reacts during 1st half action against Kansas in the Champions Classic at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM
Caption
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo reacts during 1st half action against Kansas in the Champions Classic at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Credit: CURTIS COMPTON / AJC

Credit: CURTIS COMPTON / AJC

In case you missed it last night, and I wouldn't blame you if you did, Michigan State beat Ohio State on Tuesday night in a battle of fairly flawed Big Ten basketball teams.

In an interesting change of pace, the Buckeyes might not have been the most disappointing team on the floor*, but the bigger story came after the game thanks to Tom Izzo.

The coach of the Spartans called out ESPN basketball commentator Dan Dakich for making derogatory comments about Michigan State fans on Twitter.

Although many of the tweets have been deleted, the Detroit Free Press reported Dakich called Spartan fans whiners and accused one of only going to MSU because he or she couldn't get into UM.

Izzo actually does whine quite a bit for someone whose entire basketball philosophy is based on benefiting from the knowledge officials will only call so many fouls in a game no matter how physical a team plays, but he’s got a good point here.

Dakich is a grating presence on game broadcasts, mixing interesting insights with bitter comments about every other thing. He’s also been known to take time DURING broadcasts to tweet at detractors if you want an idea about how worried he is about image and the conversation about him.

As a radio host (which he is), Dakich is expected to be opinionated, but jousting with a fan base on social media is not a good practice for an ESPN game commentator. Especially one who played for Bob Knight at Indiana and has a son who plays for Michigan.

Good for Izzo for standing up for his team’s fans. Someone has to be the adult in the room sometimes...

*The difference between these two teams right now is that Michigan State has a bunch of highly regarded young players who could still yet gel into a great team next year if not this March, as Izzo teams tend to do. Meanwhile, Thad Matta’s recruiting has slipped from the admittedly amazing pace of his first few years in Columbus, and Ohio State is stuck in the same funk it's been in for about five years. 

Meanwhile, Dayton took care of business with an 85-63 win at Saint Louis.

Seniors Scoochie Smith, Kendall Pollard and Kyle Davis picked up their school-record 98th victory and remained in a tie with VCU for first place in the Atlantic 10.

Off the court, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman had some good news and bad news for Flyers fans.

After tweeting coach Archie Miller will not be headed to N.C. State, his alma mater, if the Wolfpack fire coach Mark Gottfried, Goodman lended some credence to Golf Channel host Ryan Burr’s interjection that Ohio State will be Miller’s ultimate landing place if the Buckeyes and Matta part ways.

Perhaps Burr was being sarcastic, but he’s not the first person to float that out there.

The Buckeyes are almost certain to finish with a lower win total than the previous season for the sixth year in a row, but Matta’s stellar overall career certainly garners him some leeway in terms of how he exits.

Still, the same athletics department fired the winningest women’s basketball coach of all time four years ago, so it’s fair to assume at some point they will want to go another direction if the program doesn’t change course soon.

Miller has done plenty to make himself attractive to major-conference teams, and Dayton has gone far to make him feel comfortable continuing to build on the Flyers' great tradition, but speculation on his future doesn't figure to abate any time soon.

You should know this by now, but BASEBALL IS BACK!

The Reds have started spring training, and we are all over that with Mike Hartsock reporting from Goodyear, Ariz.

There are all kinds of subplots to follow, including how the starting rotation shakes out, Jose Peraza’s ascent at second base, the return of Devin Mesoraco and more.

But first check out this Arizona baseball video parodying Major League.

That's all we've got for today, but hopefully you'll be back tomorrow as this is intended to be a new daily feature.

And we’re still looking for a name if you have any suggestions.

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