DETROIT -- Perhaps a rematch between Barack Obama and John McCain can serve as the undercard.
Or how about Ivan Drago-Apollo Creed II?
Because those are the only things I can think of that were as lopsided as the first game between North Carolina and Michigan State, that 98-63 debacle here at Ford Field that had Tom Izzo wondering whether he was dumb for scheduling the made-for-TV event. When the horn sounded, the Spartans were 4-2 with an 18-point loss to Maryland and 35-point loss to North Carolina, and though many spent that December night suggesting the Tar Heels would return to Ford Field during the first weekend in April, how many of you really thought Michigan State would be the school playing them for the national title?
Rest assured, I didn't.
Hell, as recently as Saturday at noon I didn't think Michigan State would be playing them for the national title. But here I am, late Saturday (early Sunday, technically), writing about Monday's title game between UNC and MSU, and I couldn't be more excited despite that December blowout, because I don't think this game will be anything like that game.
Because Goran Suton is playing.
(He was hurt last time.)
And because 70,000-plus will be cheering for the Spartans.
(Only 25,267 attended that December game.)
And because this Michigan State team is better than that Michigan State team.
(It just is.)
Similar to Billy Donovan's first national championship team, Izzo has his Spartans playing well at the right time, playing their best down this stretch, and sometimes that's the key to this stuff. Of course, North Carolina is playing well right now, too. Awfully well, in fact. So it's possible Michigan State might just be out-manned Monday night, and Tyler Hansbrough will get the send-off most have long expected.
Or maybe not. Honestly, who knows? But either way, what I do know is that this city will be jumping for the next 48 hours, covered in green from Canada to Greektown, and the build-up to Monday night should be splendid.
With any luck, the actual game will be, too.
With Izzo on one sideline, I'd say it's more likely than not.