Five Hills Spartan Green Must Climb!

Joe AdalineContributor IApril 2, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 29:  Goran Suton #14 and Draymond Green #23 of the Michigan State Spartans reach for a rebound against Samardo Samuels #24 of the Louisville Cardinals during the fourth round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Lucas Oil Stadium on March 29, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

There are five hills to climb for Tom Izzo's team this Saturday. This is the fifth time a Spartan team has gone Final Four in the past eleven years. That effort resulted in a national championship in 2000 for Tom and his crew.

This Saturday, the Spartan Green has five hills to climb to get to the final game. Here they are:

1. The Spartans do not match up well with UConn. UConn is a taller team at most positions and this will be a challenge getting inside and getting boards.

2. The Spartans have played very well in the tournament. The Spartans are due for a letdown. They need to stay focused, they need to avoid mental mistakes and turnovers.

3. The Spartans must play at their tempo. They showed that swagger at the Louisville game, controlling the tempo and setting the pace.

4. The Spartans must avoid long droughts on offense. They must generate key baskets at key times. A team like UConn can make a steal off a sluggish offense and go on a game-breaking run.

5. The Spartans must stay focused and avoid letting the crowd awe them and make them nervous and tentative. There will be 70,000 plus fans at Ford Field. Many of them Spartan diehards, who will scream their lungs out. The team must not let the crowd affect their play. Just play the game, and put the ball in the hole.

If the Spartans climb these five hills, they will be in the championship game on Monday.