(Actually, less than 24 at this point. Woo!)
It's been a nerve-wracking, nail-biting trip through the first four rounds, but Your Spartans have returned to the Final Four. Few would have expected this outcome, but we're here. Nearly everything that can be written about tomorrow's game has been written (including here!), but here are a few new items for you to peruse during the calm before tomorrow's storm:
Butler Bulldogs vs Michigan State Spartans - April 03, 2010 - College Basketball - StatSheet.com
All the statty goodness you could ever want.
Recruiting turned Tom Izzo into Mr. March | detnews.com | The Detroit News
Thorough article by Lynn Henning. The "Izzo makes no-talent guys into champions" silliness was definitely more prevalent during last season's Final Four, but I think sometimes that many are still under the impression that we're succeeding despite some sort of major talent disadvantage. That's plainly not the case.
Drew Sharp: Michigan State walk-on Mike Kebler playing his part in Final Four run | freep.com | Detroit Free Press
And, counterpoint. A rare non-mean-spirited column from Sharp.
Michigan St F Delvon Roe playing on bad knee, says pain will be worth it if Spartans win title - latimes.com
His toughness is quickly becoming legendary.
Butler-Michigan State preview - Beyond the Arc - msnbc.com
"But where this game will be decided is with Korie Lucious. As we mentioned, Butler's back court is very, very good defensively. The Bulldogs can pressure the ball and make it difficult for your guards to be able to do anything on the offensive end. Lucious has not been great in his limited time at the point this year. He is a bit undersized, more of a natural scorer than a pure point guard, and as Izzo has said, has a little street ball in him. He has shown a tendency to turn the ball over when faced with pressure, and you better believe that Brad Stevens will have his players getting all over Lucious."
DETNEWS | Weblogs | Big Ten Blog: Wooden on Izzo
The Wizard is a fan.
Basketball Prospectus | Articles | Life vs. "Hoosiers":
Gasaway: "We college basketball fans are in the habit of celebrating a post-season that gives a team like Butler the chance to shine (though I still think UTEP was a pointedly dangerous 12-seed), but for me Butler's presence in Indy speaks well not only of the tournament but also the sport. Those of us who venerate the tournament in its current form do so in part because we trust its results, even as we acknowledge that anything can happen in a single-elimination format."
Video: Dayton wins NIT - College Basketball Nation Blog - ESPN
Major congratulations to Mr. Gregory & Co.
As for discussion, how are you feeling about tomorrow night's game? What's your anxiety/confidence level? Any predictions? And, before anyone gets too down on our chances, let's remember what happened the last time we were in this situation:
Tomorrow, it's on.