|#5||Michigan St. (32-4) ||68|
|#5||Butler (28-8) ||64|
Whatever "it" is, Tom Izzo possesses it, lots of it.
The leader of the Michigan State Spartans returns to the NCAA Final Four for the second time in as many years. With a new cast of playmakers, led by Durrell Summers on this night, the Spartans overcame a 5-seed to fight and claw their way through the Midwest region.
The Butler Bulldogs looked like the new kids on the block the first three minutes of the ball game. MSU ripped off an 11-3 run to start off the game. Eventually the team’s nerves settled and they got back to playing the brand of basketball they know best: defense first and offense second.
With a little more than four minutes remaining in the first half Shelvin Mack put Butler up for the first time in the game, 32-30. Brad Stevens' team kept the positive momentum going right in to halftime. Michigan State was held without a field goal for a three minute span in the final minutes. Butler led by four, 41-37, going in to the break.
The Bulldogs would increase their cushion to double digits in the second half. However, the one thing you don’t want to do is allow coach Izzo's teams to hang around. The Spartans killed Butler on the glass, out-rebounding them by eleven. To add to the door being left ajar, the ‘Dogs made the boys from Kentucky laugh when they shot 3-18 from behind the arc.
Raymar Morgan helped regain the lead for MSU at the free thrown line, sinking two free throws with a little more than seven minutes to go in the game.
Butler would keep this game competitive, but could never recover from relinquishing the lead.
Durrell Summers was the player of the game scoring 15 points and ripping down 11 rebounds for the Spartans in the 68-64 win.
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