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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Michigan State students don ‘You Off’ T-shirts to mock Michigan’s motto

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Photo on left via @NicoleAuerbach and on the right via the AP

It was probably only a matter of time before a rival school spoofed Michigan basketball's unusual "WE ON" motto.

Naturally, the Izzone was the first to do it.

Dozens of members of the Michigan State student section showed up at the Breslin Center for Tuesday night's 75-52 rout of the rival Wolverines clad in white T-shirts that read "You Off" in green lettering on the front. They also chanted "You Off" at the Wolverines as they shot around during warmups.

The "WE ON" motto is a slogan Michigan's basketball program has adopted this season as a reminder of what it takes to be successful. Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon explained in a blog post earlier this week that "WE ON" began as an acronym for "When Everyone Operates N-Sync," but Wolverines coach John Beilein has gone one step further with the idea.

Each time a player practices or works out on campus, he must flip his switch to "ON" on a special "fuse box" placed in the locker room. The switch turns on a light that illuminates a word or phrase each player has selected for himself, from "pride" for Nik Stauskas, to "poise" for Trey Burke, to "preparation" for Tim Hardaway Jr.

Credit Michigan for a unique motivation tactic that has helped the Wolverines rise into the top five in the polls the past few weeks. And credit Michigan State for a clever jab at its longtime rivals.

Of course, Michigan State students left with bragging rights Tuesday nighty – and the knowledge they were right. On a night when Michigan trailed by double digits almost the entire game and got only four combined points from Hardaway and Glenn Robinson III, the Wolverines were definitely more "off" than "on."

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