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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cinderella Madness

During March, every hoop fan hopes to witness at least one Cinderella game. In other words, an upset. From UNLV (1990) to Princeton (1996) to George Mason (2006), each low-seeded team had something special to come up with. This year, if you did not watch a lot of NCAA, you would say Butler was one Cinderella-team; I won’t agree, but I won’t argue either. If you watched the Northern Iowa VS. Kansas game, now we can talk. Actually, I think we can qualify the 9th seed-UNI the Cinderella team of the Tournament, upsetting no.1 Kansas 69-67.

That game was a big one, but I was anxious to watch the game after [the upset], to see if The Panthers were for real. When I saw that MSU was advancing, I thought: Wow, I can’t wait to watch that game over and over. Two of the most set-plays oriented teams of the Tournament were going head to head in the Sweet 16! Hoping for a close game, I got what I needed: great execution from both teams, solid man-to-man defense and, thanks to Tom Izzo, good rebounding!

Running a lot of box sets, The Panthers got a lot of quality looks to the basket. Often in that contest N.-Iowa tried to take advantage of their shooting bigs. Coming out of pick-and-pops or creating their own shots, Panthers’ forwards/centers found the bottom of the net from 15 or more many times. Contributing to almost half of their team points, the Purple-jersey guards ran the floor brightly (scoring 12 points off MSU’s turnovers), while being able to get to the line also. However, the rebounding battle was amazing. Winning the war 32 to 26, The Spartans scored 6 of their 59 points off 2nd chance opportunities. Surprisingly, Northern Iowa got the same score at 2nd chance points. You know what they say, there are a lot of bad first shots, but there aren’t a lot of bad second shots...

For the green and white jerseys, playing without Kalin Lucas could’ve been a hard task, but Spartans’ Korie Lucious and Durrell Summers managed to put 29 points on the score board, each of them grabbing over 6 rebounds. As I expected, Izzo came up with his sharply-executed set-plays, the same ones (or almost) he was running 10 years ago in the Championship Game against Florida.

Finally, I truly wish that the Northern Iowa program keeps progressing under Coach Jacobson.
Get MSU plays over here :
Tennessee VS MSU play :
Butler VS MSU Final Four play :
Coach Morrow

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