Local Spartan fan's love for MSU runs deep - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Local Spartan fan's love for MSU runs deep

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(03/15/12) - March Madness is in full swing.

College basketball teams are fighting for the national championship, and fans are gearing up to watch their favorites battle.

But for one local Spartan fan, MSU's first game is very personal.

One look around John West's home in Corunna makes it clear which team he is rooting for.

"My truck and my car are green, my license plate indicates MSU," he said.

His love for Michigan State University runs deep. "I live and breath it."

West graduated from the school in 1941, back when it was called Michigan State College.

He's been following Spartan Athletics ever since, and the memorabilia he's collected decorates almost every part of his house.

Like all Spartan fans, he can't wait to see his team go up against Long Island University Friday.

But for West, the game is even more personal - he's also a former State basketball player, and there's one game he hasn't forgotten. It goes back 71 years - Michigan State Vs. Long Island-- the last time the two teams met.

"Vividly remember how that game went. Their coach was very upset at the referring, he actually threw out dollar bills on the floor like he was trying to buy the referees."

It was a close game. "Unfortunately that game we lost by one point," West said. State 23- LIU 24.

West didn't play that day, but he kept a program as a reminder.

Now he's ready for revenge and he's confident the current Spartans will deliver.

"They're more active, more athletic then I ever was when I was down there. They're just a joy to watch."

Needless to say, he'll be watching and cheering, like always.

"I filled out a bracket and I have them going all the way to the Final Four. I haven't made my decision on the last of the Final Four and if they make it there, naturally, I'll pray for them to go all the way."

Three of West's four children also graduated from MSU.

And now he has a grandchild at the school.

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