So. The Number One Number One seed.
Sure didn't seem like it today. The Cardinals were beat in literally every sense of the word this afternoon. The Spartans controlled the game from beginning to end, and played EXACTLY the type of game that they wanted to play.
When I tuned in to the gamecast on my phone and it was four minutes into the game and MSU was up 4-2, I knew right then that this was going to be a Spartan type of game. This obviously wasn't a Louisville team that was going to score 103 points again. This obviously wasn't a Louisville team that was going to be able to score at will like they had two nights earlier.
Goran Suton scored 19 points and had 14 rebounds, continuing his absolutely stellar play thus far in the tournament. What that stat line doesn't show, however, is the fact that Suton effectively single handedly gave the Spartans the lead. The Spartans scored 30 points in the first half...17 of those came from Suton. In fact, Suton had 17 points by the time the Spartans had 25 points.
The Spartans led 30-27 at the half. When the second half started the game looked to be slipping into the Cardinals favor. The Spartans opened up the second half with 5 fouls and 4 turnovers en route to the Cardinals taking a 34-32 lead with 15:37 minutes to go. The Spartans took the lead back less than one minute later and never gave it up. A statement dunk, by Durrell Summers at the 12:52 mark prompted Rick Pitino to take a timeout, and signalled the beginning of the end for Louisville.
The Spartans pushed to a 10 point lead with about 9 minutes to play, and then it was just smooth sailing. Louisville would not get closer than 9 after that. The final score ended up 64-52, but that doesn't even begin to explain the beat down that the Spartans hung on this "#1 #1 Seed."
This was textbook Tom Izzo. The Spartans controlled the pace from beginning to end and really didn't look back. They stuck to their gameplan and executed it about as perfectly as could be.
Now they're heading to Detroit for the Final Four. Their fifth Final Four appearance in the last 11 seasons. For those of you that are counting, that's more than any other team in that time frame.
Just to add to all of this, not only are the Spartans playing a short 90 miles from their home turf, they are also playing on the 30th anniversary of the Magic Johnson led Spartan Championship.
Bring on the Huskies!!!