Spartans march on to Detroit

In the middle of the second half, Gus Johnson and Len Elmore started to talk about how Michigan State was “starting to believe,” but the term I like to use is that the Spartans could “start to taste it.” There comes a point in the game when an underdog has enough of a lead that they start to think that they’re about to pull off the upset. I think that point came at about the 7:18 mark in the second half when Draymond Green tipped in an offensive rebound to give the Spartans a 12-point lead. If you’re coming back from a deficit, you don’t want to be down by more than the number of minutes remaining, and if you’re holding on to a lead, you want to get to a point where you are leading by twice as many points as there are minutes remaining. That’s when you start to feel that you’re fully in control of the game.

Michigan State essentially played the perfect game. They played great defense (holding Louisville to 52 points and just 38% shooting from the field), didn’t turn the ball over (12), and shot great from long range (8 for 16). Goran Suton got hot early and finished with 19 points. In the second half, Durrell Summers and Kalin Lucas each made a pair of three-pointers. The Spartans did a terrific job of passing the ball around and the role players hit shots when they needed to.

The Cardinals’ second- and third-leading scorers, Samardo Samuels and Terrence Williams, combined to shoot 1 for 13 from the field for five points. It was a disappointing finish to a great season for Louisville. Now Rick Pitino has to answer the question about why he bought a house in Tuscon — is he going to be the next head coach for Arizona?

Michigan State heads off to the Final Four, which takes place about 75 miles from East Lansing, at Ford Field.

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