• 39°

NCAA hoops: Michigan State headed to Detroit

By Michael Marot
Associated Press
INDIANAPOLIS ó Even before Michigan State’s first game of the season, coach Tom Izzo gathered his players and spelled out their goal.
“Ford Field,” he wrote on a dry-erase board.
That part of the Motown mission is complete.
The Spartans gave the Final Four a hometown feel, stopping overall No. 1 seed Louisville 64-52 on Sunday to win the Midwest Regional.
Goran Suton had 19 points and 10 rebounds as the second-seeded Spartans (30-6) played the pace game to perfection and reached their fifth Final Four in 11 years ó the most trips of any team in the nation during that span.
Only 90 miles from their campus in East Lansing, the Spartans will play Connecticut on Saturday at Ford Field in Detroit. A crowd of 72,000, the largest ever for college basketball’s signature event, is expected for each game.
“Detroit, here we come,” said Izzo, a Michigan native. “I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to that.”
The Spartans made it 30 years after Magic Johnson led them to a national title over Larry Bird and Indiana State.
“Detroit needs something, Michigan needs something to feel good about,” said Johnson, who was at the game. “And right now, the whole state is feeling good about this Michigan State team.”
Along with advancing, the Spartans prevented a Big East blitz in the Final Four ó coach Rick Pitino and Louisville (31-6) were trying to become the third school from the conference to make it.”They were the better team,” Louisville’s Terrence Williams said. “They were quicker than us, their defense was more physical and we couldn’t turn them over like we wanted to.”
Next week’s short trip will be a special treat for many Spartans ó eight Michigan residents are on the roster.
Durrell Summers, who delivered 10 second-half points, grew up in Detroit. Kalin Lucas, the Big Ten player of the year, was raised 10 minutes from the giant stadium.
“One thing we told ourselves was that we was going to get back there (Detroit),” Lucas said.
The game went nothing like Louisville expected.
Its vaunted pressure defense produced no fastbreak points. After committing nine turnovers in Friday’s 39-point rout over Arizona, the Cardinals matched that total in 18 minutes Sunday. They opened the game on a scoring drought that lasted nearly four minutes.
Two days after scoring 103 points, they barely avoided setting a new a season-low point total thanks to Earl Clark’s 3-pointer with 12 seconds left. Louisville scored 51 points against UConn on Feb. 2.
The biggest problem was Michigan State’s aggressive man-to-man defense.
“The last six, seven games we probably have had 90 percent zones,” Pitino said. “We got very good at going against zones, but that man-to-man gave us trouble tonight because our inside attack wasn’t there.”

Comments

Comments closed.

Coronavirus

10% of Rowan residents receive first dose; eight COVID-19 deaths reported this week

News

North Carolina State Highway Patrol commander to retire

Education

UNC School of the Arts may go for online learning due to COVID-19 spread

Coronavirus

Greensboro site to administer 3,000 daily vaccine doses starting March 10

Nation/World

$1.9 billion relief bill closer to passage in House

Nation/World

Lady Gaga’s dogs recovered safely

Coronavirus

Advisers OK single-shot COVID-19 vaccine from J&J

Local

Post wins 18 N.C. Press Association Awards

Education

Cooper vetoes bill that would force K-12 schools to reopen

Local

Lanning named Spencer’s fire chief

Crime

Blotter: Feb. 26

Crime

Salisbury, Kannapolis men charged with soliciting sexual acts

News

Racial bias ‘deeply entrenched’ in report critical of Apex Police Department

Nation/World

US bombs facilities in Syria used by Iran-backed militia

Elections

City council again dismisses idea of adding new member, focus now on recommendation to delay elections

Business

‘Let’s make some money:’ Loosened restrictions praised by bar owners, baseball team

High School

Salisbury High bucks historical trend in dominant shutout of West Rowan

Enochville

Garage declared total loss after Enochville fire

Crime

Cooper, N.C. prison officials agree to release 3,500 inmates

Coronavirus

Two more COVID-19 deaths reported in Rowan, six for the week

Crime

Blotter: Man brandishes AR-15, runs over motorcycle at Rockwell-area gas station

Crime

Salisbury man charged with exploitation of minor

Crime

Road rage incident results in assault charges

Local

Dukeville lead testing results trickle in, more participation needed