Last night, UNC beat Villanova to advance to the NCAA national championship game against Michigan St. If you recall, UNC beat Michigan State in the same arena in December...by 35 pts. This DOES NOT mean UNC will win by default tomorrow night. But it also doesn't mean that somehow Michigan State is a totally different team and will beat UNC by 35.
Those backing MSU are pointing out several facts about the December game: MSU was coming off a long streak of games and was very tired (4 games in 7 days I believe), and was missing several players due to injuries, including key bigman Suton. Now that they are rested and healthy down low, they are going to be a totally different team, right? Probably.
Here is what ESPN and other places don't mention: UNC was also coming off a streak of games (5 in 10 days, including a trip to Maui). The December game was only Hansbrough's 4th or 5th game back from an injury (a stress fracture? I can't remember...), and we wer also without Tyler Zeller, who was contributing double digit points up until his injury right before that game.
Michigan State will definitely be a different team. They have already knocked off some big names and the defending champs. They are the "underdog" and will play like it, not to mention the game is about 90 miles from their campus. They won't get beat by 35. However, UNC is also coming to play. This is the game Psycho T has dreamed about for 4 years, and it is the last chance for some of the other players to showcase their NBA potential (anyone see Green's 3 pointers from a few feet behind the arc last night?). UNC will not beat MSU by 35. They will beat them by 8.
You heard it here folks. UNC: 84 MSU: 76
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