Saturday, March 28, 2009

Imitation is the highest form of flattery

In Michigan State's 67-62 win over Kansas, the Jayhawks out-Spartaned Tom Izzo's team. Specifically, Kansas dominated the glass, and they also bothered Michigan State into a 43.2 effective field goal percentage. But like a tribute band that copies the bad hairstyles of the original, Kansas also picked up the Spartans' penchant for turnovers. The Jayhawks turned it over on 29% of their possessions, and Michigan State needed every one of those. Frankly, had the Hawks been something better than spectacularly sloppy with the ball, they would have won this game. In just about every other aspect, Kansas held the edge. Cole Aldrich transformed the paint into a no-fly zone and was phenomenal in mopping up the misses on offense and defense. And Michigan State had no answer for Sherron Collins and Aldrich (when they weren't turning it over). But give credit to the Spartans for exploiting the weaknesses of the young Jayhawks. Goran Suton and Kalin Lucas led Michigan State with 38 points on 31 shots. Box score.

The reward for Tom Izzo's team is to face a Louisville team that won its game in message-sending fashion, and hasn't lost a game since early February.

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