So much for inevitable fate of three Big East teams in the Final Four. Louisville should have saved something from that 40-point beatdown of Arizona the other night, because they looked like an exhausted team in the second half today and never even made a run to get back into the game once they got down for good.
The Spartans went on a 26-9 run in the second half en route to a 64-52 win in Indianapolis in front of a crowd that included a green-clad Magic Johnson.
And isn’t this just a classic Tom Izzo game? Sure, he’s got a lot of talent, but it just seems that he finds a way to get the most of every guy in his rotation in big games like this. Nobody was giving the Spartans a chance, even as a #2, to make the Final Four this year.
Everyone talked about the bad home losses to Northwestern and Penn State, that the Big Ten was weak, yadda yadda. Now, there’s no reason to think they can’t hang with UConn in their own backyard in Detroit. Although, you might remember that MSU’s last trip to Ford Field didn’t exactly go very well.
As for Louisville, what happened? Edgar Sosa took exactly one shot. Terrence Williams and Jimmy Smith were non-factors. Earl Clark is the only guy who showed up, but he still only made 8-of-20 from the field. The Cards were only 56% at the line and scored 0 fast break points. I don’t know if Rick Pitino’s going to have many answers after this one — his team was just sluggish.
It was a Big Ten-style game, and the Cardinals just couldn’t deal with it. Goran Suton was outstanding, and the Spartans were just so much more aggressive going at the rim. Louisville was supposedly the tougher team, with better rebounding. But that certainly didn’t show up today.
Now, we get to see the Griffin-Hansbrough matchup we’ve all been waiting for. Tyler’s the consummate college star, but can he deal with the freakish athleticism of the likely #1 pick? Lucky for Hansbrough, he’s got the better supporting cast.