- Elena Bergeron
Michigan State -- pride of a city, hope of a lost industry (cue violins) -- lost the national semifinal game in Detroit. Really.
Basketball is a game made up of a dozen smaller battles. If you win, say, the turnover battle or reach a couple of extra loose balls (the hustle battle), that will sway the outcome. But Saturday night, the Spartans' fast break mitigated all the ways UConn bested them. The Spartans scored 22 points on the lam after totaling just 36 fast-break points in their first four tournament games combined, a Detroit restructuring that actually worked. And now MSU coach Tom Izzo will take that model against the Rolls Royce of running and try to beat North Carolina at its own game.
Both teams are clicking with their up-tempo offenses, but has MSU mastered what UNC has been preaching all season?