Michigan State 64, Lousiville 52
Tom Izzo reminded his team before the game started of one of his favorite players that he has coached at Michigan State- Mateen Cleaves. Cleaves longed to hear the song "One Shining Moment" all year long during the 1999-2000 basketball season.
Finally, after beating Florida in the 2000 National Championship Game, Cleaves celebrated the victory with that famous tune being played in the background.
Izzo's pre-game speech gave the Spartans the motivational lift to take down the No. 1 Louisville Cardinals.
Izzo is one of the best coaches at getting his team ready for a game. He knew that Lousiville has many great athletes that can run a team off the court as they did in their previous game against Arizona.
Spartan senior guard Travis Walton told reporters in a pre-game interview, "We just need to limit our turnovers and play tough defense."
That is exactly what Michigan State did to claim the victory. They limited their turnovers to under their season average and they held Louisville to only 52 points, well below their season and tournament average.
Louisville could never get anything going on offense and credit is due to Michigan State's tough man-to-man defense—a defense that Louisville may have only encountered once this season against another Big Ten team, Minnesota. Louisville lost that one, too.
It was all Goran Suton in the first half for the Spartans. He scored 17 points and was 3 for 3 from the three point line. Preston Knowles came off the bench to score 11 points for the Cardinals in the first half. Michigan State went to half time with a 30-27 lead.
Louisville came out in the second half determined to be more aggressive on the offensive side, but it was not enough for a team that is used to a high speed transition type of offense.
The Spartan guard play took over in the second half. Durrell Summers came off the bench to score 12, going 2-3 from three point. Kalin Lucas, the Big Ten Player of the Year, also stepped up and hit big shots to close the deal.
It was a win that shocked many across the nation. Michigan State is going home to Detroit for the Final Four next Saturday. It is Izzo's fifth Final Four in 13 seasons, and it continues his tradition of every guy that stays for four years under his program makes it to at least one Final Four.
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