Commentary

Insider Intel: Bench, Press keys to Spartans-Cardinals

Fresh legs could help Tom Izzo's crew avoid Arizona's fate

Originally Published: March 28, 2009
By Luke Cyphers | ESPN The Magazine

The people on the NCAA seeding committee warned you.

They gave Arizona a 12 seed in the Midwest. They gave Louisville the No. 1 seed in the country. But this was beyond a mismatch. This surpassed a blowout. This was unfair.

We will go through some statistics, but they all pale next to 103-64, the non-regression analysis of the scoreboard. This had nothing to do with average, and everything to do with mean. Louisville's dismantling of the Wildcats fell into the category of cruel and unusual. The game was over at halftime, with Louisville already up 49-28. At one point late in the half, the television flashed a stat on the struggles of two of Arizona's Big Three: point guard Nic Wise and center Jordan Hill. Wise was 0-for-4 from the field and Hill just 2-of-6. Of course, had their shooting been perfect, the Cats would have still trailed by three.


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Luke Cyphers is a former senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.