Saturday, April 20, 2024

Sports | Men's Basketball

MEN'S BASKETBALL

MSU, UNC have changed

Call it fate. Call it destiny. Call it kismet. All those adjectives will be applicable Monday night, when the MSU men’s basketball team get a second chance to take down North Carolina at Ford Field.

MEN'S BASKETBALL

Tibaldi happy to be a part of MSU's run to Final Four

Bryan Tibaldi never made it to the NCAA national championship as a player. But sitting in the corner of a Ford Field locker room on Sunday, the former MSU walk-on turned graduate manager was doing everything he could to make sure his first trip to college basketball’s biggest stage was going to be a success.

MEN'S BASKETBALL

Williams emotional about senior class

One win would give North Carolina the 2009 national championship. It would also give its eight-man senior class — which includes Marcus Ginyard, Bobby Frasor, Danny Green and Tyler Hansbrough — 124 career wins, the most of any class in North Carolina history.

MEN'S BASKETBALL

It all comes down to this

When asked to compare his team to North Carolina, MSU men’s basketball head coach Tom Izzo didn’t sugarcoat his feelings. “If we play good and they play good, we’re losing,” Izzo said during a press conference Sunday at Ford Field. “That’s the way I look at it.”

MEN'S BASKETBALL

State of play

From the Upper Peninsula to the southeast corner, the Rust Belt to the western frontier, the MSU basketball program has Michigan covered. MSU head basketball coach Tom Izzo emphasizes building his program on local products, and perhaps no team represents the entire state better than his 2009 Final Four squad. When the team takes the court against Connecticut on Saturday evening, it will be playing for more than fans back in East Lansing.

MEN'S BASKETBALL

MSU gets advantage playing close to home

Playing just a short drive from Breslin Center, the MSU men’s basketball team will try to knock off its second consecutive Big East opponent when it faces Connecticut at 6:07 p.m. Saturday in the Final Four at Ford Field. The Huskies (31-4) finished second in the talented Big East this year while the Spartans (30-6) won the Big Ten regular season championship.

MEN'S BASKETBALL

Driven by faith

During his sophomore year, Travis Walton was sitting at a barbershop when he overheard a man talking about God. “Do you really believe that?” Walton asked the stranger. He replied that he did. The man was Jesse Brown, a pastor at Rivers of Life Church, 2495 N. Cedar St., in Lansing. His message struck Walton, now a senior guard on the MSU men’s basketball team. Interested and intrigued by Brown and his beliefs, Walton began going to Rivers of Life regularly — although only after his grandmother met and approved of Brown.

MEN'S BASKETBALL

Izzo's promise stands

A few years ago, MSU men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo was sitting in his office at the Alfred Berkowitz Basketball Complex. Across from Izzo was Kalin Lucas, an ultra-fast high school guard, and Lucas’ parents, Kenneth and Tina.

MEN'S BASKETBALL

Players draw inspiration from Detroit

When Durrell Summers takes the court Saturday night, the sophomore guard will know exactly what he’s up against. MSU’s opponent, Connecticut, is a juggernaut of a team. The Huskies blazed through the West Region like a forest fire, winning their four tournament games by an average of 25.5 points. In all those games combined, they trailed for a total of three minutes and 27 seconds.