Briefcap -- Michigan State 65, Saint Louis 61

COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 18: Draymond Green #23 of the Michigan State Spartans looks to pass against the Saint Louis Billikens in the first half during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's basketball tournament at Nationwide Arena on March 18, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Boy that game was fun, wasn't it? I just got back from Columbus and am a bit sleepy, so just a Briefcap tonight. For now:

  • Some assumed that St. Louis would throw in a defensive wrinkle State hadn't seen before; that would be Appling's defender sagging off him at the three-point line to take away the drive. It was like the treatment Travis Walton received in '09 against USC, but while Appling would be defended if he penetrated, the Trojans didn't cover Walton at well. Regardless, Keith made enough long twos and lay-ups before his coup de grace, a three off a pass from Draymond that put MSU up seven with 1:34 left.
  • If there was a bugaboo, it was MSU's interior defense. Even though it seemed like St. Louis was getting the benefit of the calls (unbiased outsiders -- were they? I have no hope of analyzing fouls impartially), there were numerous occasions where a Billiken guard either drove the lane or found an open big. Even though MSU allowed SLU to shoot 11-26 from two (and 7-25 from three, even though those were seemingly going in from all angles), some of those twos came far too easy; I think if Branden Dawson's healthy the Spartans win by double digits.
  • Draymond Green -- 16 points on 6-11 (2-4 from three) shooting, 13 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 floor cleaned. We've exhausted our lexicon at TOC to describe how impressive Day Day is, but we think it's just assumed right now.
In all, Michigan State's 10th Sweet Sixteen in 15 years, which earns them a date with the Louisville Cardinals in Phoenix at 8 PM ET on Thursday. More later, but for tonight let's hope it's 2009 all over again.
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