Izzo has been reminding the team of the importance of defense to championships and the Spartans did a remarkable job of shutting down the athletic and talented Tennessee Volunteers, winning 70-69.
While I’m not going to go into details of the game, I am going to go out on a limb and speculate. This team is not going to win the National Championship.
The Spartans’ best player, Kalin Lucas, is not playing. And even if they get through Butler, they’ll find themselves facing exceptionally talented teams in West Virginia or Duke. Heart and great defense can get you to the Final Four. The jury is still out on whether it’s enough to best Coach K.
The Spartans play fifth-seeded Butler on April 3 at 6 p.m. The championship game is April 5.
Here’s a link to the Detroit Free Press’ photo gallery.
And here’s a link to the Freep’s coverage of the game.