Blog Entry

UNC vs. MSU again? Seriously?

Posted on: April 5, 2009 1:20 am

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.

Category: NCAAB

Since: Mar 22, 2009
Posted on: April 5, 2009 1:54 pm

UNC vs. MSU again? Seriously?

I agree enough talk about the first game, but at least get it right when you make a statement about that game. Carolina was not at full strength. Tyler had just came back from injury and our best defender didn't play in the game.  

Since: Jun 16, 2008
Posted on: April 5, 2009 1:38 pm

UNC vs. MSU again? Seriously?

 Yeah that is the way it goes.  you go to watch a big ten basketball game and the teams forget what kinda ball is used.  It is called basketball for a reason.  the ball is round, not oval it is not FOOTBALL.  that is why you don't wear pads only jerseys.  the officials let the big ten teams get away with way to much.  Anyway it just looked like we didn't play anybody because we dominated.  Oh yeah, you must not watch to much basketball because all the teams we beat were very good teams and after we beat Mich St. we will have beaten a team playing great basketabll.  I like Izzo and he has done a fantastic job but it won't be enough Mon. night.  GO HEELS!  Let's play BASKETBALL, football is a way off but i believe your basketball team plays football harder than your football team does.Laughing



Since: Jul 19, 2007
Posted on: April 5, 2009 1:32 pm

UNC vs. MSU again? Seriously?

UNC is great as a MSU alum I can say no one is denying UNC's superior team. But this is not the NBA playoffs. State just needs to come and play one game. Izzo is a basketball god because no other coach including Williams (who is excellent) could bring MSu's talent to the finals. I wouldn't count state out because they already beat two number 1 seeds.



Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: April 5, 2009 1:28 pm

UNC vs. MSU again? Seriously?

 You sir, are either stupid, blind, or deaf.  It could be that you simply can't read.  Carolina has actually played the TOUGHEST bracket, when one considers their matchups.  Here is who they've played and their final ranking.

Read as many times at is requires to sink in.

Radford - NR

LSU - No. 21

Gonzaga - No. 10

Oklahoma - No. 7

Villanova - No. 11

They are the only team to play four RANKED TEAMS.  Not to mention that three of them finished in the Top 11.  When they play Michigan State, they will have played 5 ranked teams, 4 of which reside in the Top 11.

Try again.

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: April 5, 2009 1:28 pm

UNC vs. MSU again? Seriously?


 That may be the most ignorant set of comments I've heard in a long time.

1. Raford is not Top 25

2. LSU = Top 25 (#20)

3. Gonzaga = Top 25 (#10)

4. Oklahoma = Top 25 (#8)

5. Villanova = Top 25 (#12)

The only game that they played that was not a Top 25 opponent was their first round match up against Radford.


Let's look at MSU's march:

1. Robert Morris is not Top 25

2. USC is not Top 25

3. Kansas = Top 25 (#13)

4. Louisville = Top 25 (#1)

5. UConn = Top 25 (#3)


I'll give MSU this...they had to step up against top top 3 teams in their last two games an met the challenge - well done (I called both wins). But, to ignorantly state that UNC only played a "one-man Oklahoma team" "on the way in" just shows your bias and your ignorance.

As the numbers show, they played more Top 25 teams than MSU. Looking at the overall comparison, I'll admit, MSU had a harder road to the finals - but that is always going to happen. Someone will have a tougher road. The fact remains, MSU is winning games with their defense (which is their strength), so they're unlikely to really put anyone away. UNC is winning games with their offense and because it's clicking right now, they haven't had to rely on their defense much (but, when they did, it's come through in the tournament).

Oh...and do you really think the 35pt blow out was because of the refs? Get real. Having Suton out was a big hole for MSU and that'll certainly translate into fewer points in the paint. A 35pt difference? I don't see it. But the refs, even if they made some shoddy calls, were so not the reason MSU got it handed to them in December. To give credit, MSU bounced back from that and rolled to the finals 3+ months later. Good on 'em.

When you consider both team's roads to the finals (just in the tournament alone), it's easy to say they earned it. They have tough wins and played some very tough teams. My prediction (since we all have an opinion):

UNC 87
MSU 74

Since: Mar 26, 2009
Posted on: April 5, 2009 1:27 pm

UNC vs. MSU again? Seriously?

I'm a huge NC fan but still worry about them not making 3's and giving up 3's. They have to do better inside, rebound and do better at the line. You can't be confortable this season unless they were up 20 with 5 to go. I hope they saved their best for last - NC 85 - Mi St 72

Since: Mar 24, 2008
Posted on: April 5, 2009 1:25 pm

How to beat the heels

I know how to beat the Heels, and it has nothing to do with slowing down the game -- lots of teams have slowed down the game with them and all they've had to show for it is a slightly less spectacular deficit in the box score. 

But there is a way to beat them that about six or seven teams in the nation could pull off, if they went about it the right way.  I'm not going to say what it is, because I'm rooting for the Heels, and I don't want to run even the slightest risk of giving Izzo any bright ideas.

Maybe I'll reveal the big secret, which seems patently obvious to me, just before tip-off, when it's too late for anyone to adjust their game plan.

Monday night is going to be a lot of fun.


Since: Oct 18, 2007
Posted on: April 5, 2009 1:24 pm

UNC vs. MSU again? Seriously?

i expect nothing short of a good game.  bad comparisons aside (see obama-mccain above), he is right that this MSU team is much different than the december team.  i'm 100% big east and acc -- having said that i hate UNC (as do all good terps fans).  then again, i also hate big 10.  :-P   so guess i have no idea who i'll be rooting for tomorrow night.

seems like about half the people are arrogantly positive unc will win, and the others are arrogantly sure msu will win.  i'd love to see more actual analysis and discussion as to *why* you think so.  yeah, msu has some defenders and they will have their hands more than full with lawson.  and if they are able to shut him down, good luck on having enough others to hold down tyler and company.  the unc defenders will have no cake walk either.  in the end, do i think unc will win?  yeah... but by how much will be exciting to watch.  i expect a close game for the first 30-35 minutes... 

Since: Apr 5, 2009
Posted on: April 5, 2009 1:14 pm

UNC vs. MSU again? Seriously?

MSU deserves to be in the championship game, why? Well I guess it has to do with the fact that they beat everyone else they were matched up agaisnt. No matter what your take on all the previous games are for either team, when the buzzer sounded they were the victor, period.

My North Carolina Tar heels achived this as well by beating all the teams they were matched up agaisnt. Everyone on boths sides keeping mouthing off that neither teams has played anyone, and that is crap on both sides. They both have played some of the best teams in the country and both came out on top (i.e. Louisville, UCONN, LSU, Zags, Nova, I can keep going) That is just in this tournament, not counting the regular season.

As far as the game my Heels are going to be playing in a sea of green, but that is fine, they do quite well on the road, and they know what pressure in the big game is all about, even though they blew it a year ago. On the other hand so does MSU, they have a lot to play for this year, and I am sure that is only going to add to their drive. But in taking all of that away I ask you to match up stats for the starting 5 for both teams. You can guess who wins on paper, MSU does not touch the Heels. My respect goes to MSU, but no one, not even the Spartans and all of Michigan are going to stand in North Carolina's way of getting that title. But to all the fans and players of MSU this is a competitive sport, and in such anything can happen (otherwise no one would watch) so I bid you good luck, you are going to need it.

Since: Oct 2, 2007
Posted on: April 5, 2009 1:13 pm

UNC vs. MSU again? Seriously?


" lawson aint gonna do squat against whalton..if u dont know who walton is you will after monday night my friend..hahahahah"


thats what they said about whats his name from LSU, and whats his name from Oklahoma, and whats his name from Gonzaga, and whats his name from Villanova... after monday night, Whalton is gonna be another "whats his name" when ty is holding the tournament MVP trophy and the national title trophy

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