Saturday, April 4, 2009

Final Four Live-Blog!!

As you all should know, BIAH will be attending the Final Four at Ford Field this weekend. As we did for the Big East tournament, we will be live-blogging from the event as Villanova, North Carolina, UConn, and Michigan State will be vying for the 2009 national title.

We will also be attending the majority of the Final Four festivities. Hopefully, we will have a chance to speak with some notable college basketball personalities, so keep an eye out for that as well.

As always, follow along after the jump.

- Villanova is killing themselves with turnovers and terrible shot selection. When they get the ball to the rim, they can score and get open looks. When they force jumpers and dumb drives, they turn the ball over and miss shots.

If they weren't pounding the offensive glass, this would be worse than 14 points right now.

- Watching UNC play offense is such a pleasure. They are so crisp, move the ball so well and so quickly, and do not miss when they are open. Nova is starting to work their way back into it, but I just cannot see anyway that they slow down these heels.

- UNC looks like they might runaway with this one early. Nova is just completely overmatched on the defensive end, and they are settling for too many perimeter shots offensively.

19-8 early.

- My battery is dying by the second, so posts during the second game will be more limited than during the first game.

- I don't think I have ever seen as many flashbulbs go off as when MSU finally won and celebrated on the floor.

And it was so loud no one could hear a word Izzo or Lucas said in their interview.

- As good as Walker was against Mizzou, he was that bad tonight. You CANNOT give up an and-one on that lay-up.

- With 1:45 Kemba Walker, who was 1-7 from the line, got fouled. As he headed to the line, Spartan fans gave him a standing ovation. He promptly knocked down both free throws.

- And a dunk by Morgan puts the Spartans up by 11 with three minutes left. This one is just about over. It MSU stops taking stupid shots.

- I don't know how else to put it. MSU is better prepared, better coached, and tougher. It is tough to beat a team like that.

- Jim Calhoun is flat out being out coached by Tom Izzo.

- MSU is outworking, outhustling, and out executing the Huskies. You have to chalk it up to coaching. The Spartans have been better prepared mentally.

- UConn looks terrible on the offensive end. It has to be nerves, because they are unable to get into any semblance of an offensive. Get the ball to Price.

- MSU's running game is the difference right now. UConn is crashing the boards very hard, from every spot on the floor, but when they don't get it they are in terrible defensive balance. It is allowing MSU to get these lay-ups.

- Sticks in foul trouble is killing the Huskies. With him on the bench, Austrie is guarding Morgan on the block. Huge mismatch.

- UConn came out strong at the start of the second half, but Sparty has reeled off six straight points to take a 46-44 lead as the crowd is starting to really get into it. UConn needs to attack Suton, picking up his fourth foul.

- And MSU takes a 38-36 lead into the half. After being outplayed for the first 13 minutes or so, Sparty finally woke up, locking down the Huskies on the defensive end. UConn went ice cold down the stretch of the first half, and MSU responded with, well, freshman Korie Luscious. He scored all nine in a 9-2 MSU run.

- UConn hs gone ice cold offensively. They aren't scoring, they are turning the ball over, and they are missing foul shot. Six straight from Lucious makes it 33-29.

- MSU cannot hit a big jumper right now. They have missed a number of wide open looks with a chance to take the lead.

- That transition game is exactly what MSU wants to do. By running the court they take UConn's size out of the game.

- And the crowd rises in unison the cheer the foul call against Price. UConn now has two team fouls. MSU eight.

- The Huskies size is too much for the Spartans right now. Thabeet, Adrien, and Robinson have combined for 22 of UConn's 27 points as the Huskies take a 27-23 lead into the under 8 timeout.

- UConn is killing MSU on the offensive glass. But the Spartans have been on fire from the perimeter, keeping them close.

- Interesting coaching move by Calhoun - he has Adrien guarding Suton and Thabeet guarding Roe.

- This place is packed. Easily 65,000 here.

- After jumping out to a quick 9-2 lead, the Spartans have gone ice cold from the floor. UConn has outscored them 17-7 since then, using their superior interior strength to their advantage.

- We are experiencing some terrible technical difficulties in the form of my cell phone getting terrible reception in Ford Field. We are going to soldier on as best we can given the circumstances.
- Wow. It just hit me. I'm at the Final Four. The Big East tourney was amazing (6 OT's anyone?), but there are 70,000 people here. The atmosphere is beyond amazing.

- Just got into Ford Field, and this might as well be the Breslin Center. I'm not even kidding when I say that I've seen more Syracuse fans than Villanova fans. Home court advantage? I think so. Early estimate - 60,000 of the 70,000 are Sparty fans.

- You want a perfect example of Detroit? A PriceWaterHouse building is next door to Ford Field. On the other side? Two smoke stacks from a factory.

- In just eight short hours, I've already encountered two nominees for funniest moment of the trip.

#1 A 25 year old (straight) man doing every dance choreographed with the Pussycat Dolls in the crowd.

#2 A woman, about 30 years of age, coming up to me and asking how tall my friend (a 6'6" guy known as Big Baby K) and I (6'3") are. After hearing our heights, she proceeds to stand behind us and say "its ok because you two are cute" ... while standing next to her fiancee.

- Musically, the Pussycat Dolls are, well, not good. Aesthically, however, they are quite nice. Especially on the eyes.

- As I was saying, it was very green-heavy at the Final Four festivities. At the practices yesterday, it was the same thing - according to The Quad, MSU drew 20,000 to practice.

- Some noteworthy news - Memphis signee Xavier Henry, the #1 player in the class of '09, has asked out of his letter of intent and is expected to sign with Kansas.

- I am currently in crowd watching Gavin DeGraw perform, and one thing has become painfully clear - this place is ALL MSU fans. I guess I should have expected it ... but to a point. Of the 10,000 or so people currently on the Riverfront watching this performance, easily 99% are wearing green.

It is a beautiful day today. 50 degrees, sun is shining. Great day to be outside enjoying everything the NCAA has set up. Pussycat Dolls go on at 4. I promise pictures fellas.

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