The Spartans came into the season unranked, unappreciated, and under the radar, as they were predicted to have a mediocre season in the Big Ten and possibly be a bubble team come tournament time.

Tom Izzo’s team proved all the doubters wrong by finishing the regular season with a share of the Big Ten Championship, the Big Ten Tournament Championship, and a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Unfortunately for the young and resilient Spartans their journey to New Orleans was cut short last night when they lost to the Louisville Cardinals 57-44 in the Sweet 16.

Coming into this game everyone knew that this match-up would be a strictly defensive game, as both teams are ranked 2nd in the NCAA in defensive shooting percentage.

The first 10 minutes of this game looked very similar to a youth recreational league game that you might see in your local community.

Louisville went scoreless in their first five possessions. Michigan State didn’t do much better as they scored one basket in their first five possessions.

The game began to pick-up around the 15:43 mark in the first half, insert sarcastic mannerism here, when Louisville scored their first bucket to tie the game at 3-3.

Halfway through the first half the score was 8-7, and at this point it would have been okay to watch Jersey Shore re-runs, you wouldn’t have missed much.

The game got a little more interesting with 4:12 left in the first-half when Gorgui Deng knocked-down his first three pointer of his career, putting the Cardinals up 20-15.

In the final four minutes Louisville scored one basket, and they still went into the half up 23-18, as their defensive continued to stagger the Michigan State offense.

The second-half of this game was more or less the same, as there was a little more scoring, and a lot more defense.

The Cardinals defense was aggressive and gave the Spartans fits in the second-half.

Michigan State shot 28 percent from the field in the game, and the Spartans 44 points is the lowest score for a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament since the shot clock era.

The Spartans had no answer for a Louisville team that was nagging the Spartans, and causing them to not get comfortable on offense.

Michigan State had little post production, as Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne combined for 8 points on 3-of-10 from the field. Louisville, mainly Deng, were well prepared for the Spartan big men, and made them look like they didn’t even belong on the same floor as the Cardinals big men.

Michigan State senior Draymond Green has to end his career at Michigan State with a different outcome than he had in mind. With almost all of the credentials obtainable for a player in his position, Green was not able to hoist the NCAA Championship during his four year career at MSU.

The senior finished the Sweet 16 game with 13 points and 16 rebounds with 6 turnovers, and made some very uncharacteristic fouls late in the game.

Louisville was led in scoring by freshman Chane Behanan who had 15 points and 9 rebounds.

The Cardinals have reached their third regional final in six years, and Rick Pitino has become the third coach to take three different teams to the regional finals.

Written by Robert White via FeedCrossing, Content News Source

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