Tom Izzo has never coached a senior that has not made it to the Final Four. A win on Sunday against the Connecticut Huskies will continue that incredible streak.
No. 7 UConn is a bit of a surprise team to make it to the Elite Eight, beating No. 10 St. Joseph’s, No. 2 Villanova and No. 3 Iowa State on its way. The Huskies are led by arguably the best point guard in the nation, Shabazz Napier.
The senior is averaging 22.7 points, six rebounds and 4.7 assists per game in the tournament. If Doug McDermott did not have the legendary season he had at Creighton, Napier would be a legitimate player of the year candidate.
DeAndre Daniels, a 6 foot 9 forward, exploded for 27 points and 10 rebounds in their upset of the Cyclones on Friday. He is averaging 18.7 points per game in the tournament, five points over his season average. Branden Dawson will likely be matched up with him and will need to come up with a strong defensive performance.
The Spartans were shut down offensively for the most part against Virginia, with Gary Harris, Denzel Valentine and Appling combining for 11 points on 4-12 shooting. UConn has been on an offensive tear in the tournament, and if MSU wants to keep up, the backcourt has to step up. This game will be much different than the MSU-Virginia matchup, and both teams could easily reach 80.
Tip is set at 2:20 p.m. and can be seen on CBS.
Blake Froling is the co-host of Impact Izzone for Impact Sports.
Photo: David Defever/Impact Sports