And then there were two…Even more surprising, neither of the remaining two teams were from the Big East, this year’s top contributor to the tournament, only to fall short in the Final Cuatro. The Connecticut Huskies and Villanova Wild Cats were sent home today. Now, Michigan State will face North Carolina for the championship this Monday, April 6, 2009.
The UCONN – Michigan Game was close from the start, with the two teams separated by a handful of points going into the locker room after the first half.
Kalin Lucas led the Michigan squad, with a game high 21 points. Teammates Morgan and Lucious contributed 18 and 11, respectively. On the UCONN bench, it was Hasheem Thabeet, UCONN’s big center, that racked up 17 points, with fellow Huskies Robinson and A.J. Price each contributing 15 a piece. Free throws seemed to be a bit of an issue for UCONN, who shot .636 (21-33) while Michigan State managed .700 (14-20). In games at this level of play, every point counts.
The Tar Heels of North Carolina advanced with solid play from Ty Lawson and teammates Ellington and Hansbrough. Lawson had a game leading 22 points. For the Nova Wildcats, no one managed to break the 20 point barrier, though Scottie Reynolds laid claim to 17 points. Fellow Wildcats Redding and Fisher offer 15 and 13 points respectively.
Overall, the loss for Connecticut was a big surprise: going into today’s Final Cuatro series, a lot of sports bettors favored the Huskies going to the National Championship. Michigan State, the underdog, managed to come out on top. North Carolina’s win was no surprise, as many see them as the eventual national champion; but, with the momentum of Michigan State, anything is possible at this point.
Check out our featured sportsbooks to get the latest odds for the NCAA national championship game, and then place your bets wisely! March Mania betting may be almost over, but the big dance still has one last song to sing: “Who will be the 2009 NCAA Champion?”