This was supposed to be the result in late January. MSU had an early 3-game lead on the conference and it seemed that a regular season championship was not out of the question. Of course college basketball is not friendly to the hearts of fans and the grind of the conference schedule eventually caught up with Michigan State. Combined with a conference tournament loss to the Golden Gophers, and it was questionable whether the Spartans had enough for the long run.
Michigan State is Final Four bound again. Coincidentally, the team they will play in the first semifinal – Butler, is in a similar situation to that of the 2009 Spartan squad. The Bulldogs are actually located closer to the stadium in Indianapolis than the Spartans were last year. MSU last year was dominated by a senior-led Spartans team in the Final Four, and much like their semifinal counterpart, this happened to be their third straight visit to the sweet sixteen.
Six Final Fours in 12 years is nothing short of incredible. While the team only has one National Championship to its credit during that span (2000), that consistency is envied. My alma mater Syracuse seemingly makes a visit every seven years and Duke is making its first visit to the Final Four since 2004.
The one glaring ding against this team’s chances to win it all this year may be the one individual sitting on the bench that could make the most difference. Kalin Lucas has been a major factor for this team all year, and somehow, the team gathered enough to get by streaking Northern Iowa and Tennessee. If this team is able to win two more games, this may be the biggest win in Izzo’s career.