Memphis-Michigan State: Can the Tigers Make the Final Four?

jordan schusterContributor IMarch 26, 2008

A lot of us college basketball fans keep asking that question in our head.

Do coach John Calipari and the rest of the Memphis Tigers have enough fire power to make it to San Antonio?

I can honestly say, their run in the tournament will come to an end in this regional semifinal game, and these are the reasons I believe this: 

I believe Drew Neitzel and company will put a close to the Memphis Tigers' run. They are a great perimeter team like Memphis, but, yes, the Tigers' big men will outmatch the big men for the Spartans. However, I think the Tigers' great athletes will be worn down by the great defensive side of Michigan State.

Let's come to reality now.  The last time Michigan State was a No. 5 seed, they made the Final Four. And they are certainly an underdog, but coach Izzo couldn't like this situation any better.

If the Spartans get the Tigers in a half court setting, it will be to their advantage.

Another great point, let's look at some facts here. I think this game will come down to the wire with free throws being a huge factor.  Because Memphis shoots just over 59 percent, I think this will come to haunt the Tigers coming down the stretch in the second half.

The way I see the Spartans winning is if Drew Neitzel and the other guards show up; they have been very streaky all season.

Raymar Morgan has to play a huge role in this game as well. The Spartans are a very guard-oriented team that ranks as one of the top shooting teams in the country.

Even without a No. 2 scorer behind Neitzel, the Spartans of Michigan State feature enough balance on offense to keep them in the game with most good opponents.

I believe if Michigan State plays with high intensity and a strong perimeter game, they will be tough to slow down. With that said, the Tigers will have their hands full.