To set the right mood for this post, please imagine the guy with the crazy deep, resonant voice from the movie previews. Now you can continue to read the following.
Ford Field – music swells.
Two teams – spot lights on teams.
Two quests – cue video montage of highlights from season.
One Shining Moment. – Crowd roars – Cue music and explosions.
Add own confetti for added flair and mess.
Now we are all in the right state of mind to look at the last game of the 2008-09 Men’s College Basketball Season. I will not “breakdown” these teams, we all know them well. Instead, I will highlight a few aspects that could change the outcome or guarantee victory, or do neither.
1. Pace - MSU has a more control tempo and chooses it’s spots to fast break. While UNC throws it in fifth and punches the pedal the whole game putting the opposition in tough positions.
2. Rebounding - More specifically, offensive rebounding.
3. The Referees - If the refs call it tight, the advantage goes to UNC. If the refs let them play, Michigan State will have a chance. Either way, I would rather see it called a little looser.
4. Raymar Morgan - Morgan must continue to be aggressive and affect play like he did against UConn, even if he is not scoring.
5. Coaching - Roy Willams is a great coach, but Tom Izzo is very Bill Belichick in his game planning.
*Fashion conscious side-note- Izzo is a much better dresser than Belichick.
6. Three point shooting - Both teams jack-up alot from distance. MSU averages 15.2 shots from three a game and UNC 16.4.
7. Share With The Other Kids - Out the six loses MSU has lost this season, five times their opponent had more assists.
8. Home Court Advantage – The game is in Detroit but UNC will not be scared. It could give MSU a needed lift.
9. Mascot – The Spartan carrys more fear and more of the “I’m going to kick your ass” factor than the Tar Heel. I still have no clue what a Tar Heel really is. I don’t think it is a ram. Anyone?
10. Who I Want To Win – I would like to see Izzo and Michigan State complete this season “tie to legend”, with Bird and Magic in ’79. Much like Kansas did last year with the anniversary of “Danny and the Miracles”.
Even though I am an admitted Duke fan, I think I will feel a little bit of sympathy to UNC and the players that came back to win a championship and did not. You rarely see that kind of dedication in the One and Done Era. I have great respect for the talent of those players and for Williams.
11. UNC in Close Games - UNC has not won a tournament game by less than double-digits. In the regular season, the Tar Heels had only ONE win that was fewer than eight points. That was a 69-65 victory on the road at Miami in mid February.
12. Point and Counterpoint - Ty Lawson or Kalin Lucas. Both players are the main reason their teams are still playing. Who ever plays better, their team will win. Speed vs. Speed.
13. Bench Production - MSU’s bench score 28 points per game, UNC’s scores 13.2 but even fewer in closer games. Izzo expects production from the bench no matter how close the game.
14. Foul Trouble – Obvious I think.
15. Annoucer – There have been a ton of combo’s with ESPN and CBS, but for all the is holy, Gus Johnson needs to calls this game! PLEASE!
That covers it, everything that could possibly shift this game to either side. I mus say that this is the best breakdown/preview I have done, EVER. So much in depth details and just filled with vital data.
Enjoy the game.
I almost forgot – Prediction: UNC 74, MSU 81