Friday night's loss to the Duke Blue Devils really stung. Michigan State's offense, seldom prolific but usually effective, was stymied for much of an ugly second half, being held without a field goal for 11 minutes. Duke's defensive intensity was laudable, and the Blue Devils also were devastating with their 3-point shooting.
The 71-61 final score was actually not indicative of how one-sided this contest was. While the Blue Devils' Seth Curry hit six of nine 3-point shots, MSU's team hit just 3 of 12 from behind the arc. Freshman shooting guard Gary Harris, normally a sharpshooter, hit just 2 of 11 shots despite having many open looks, but was 0-for-3 behind the arc. Even rebounding, supposedly MSU's strength and an area in which they ought to have dominated, was pretty even: 33-29 in favor of MSU.
Duke goes on to face a dangerous Louisville team (Louisville knocked MSU out of the 2012 tournament), and the Spartans go home to lick their wounds and start thinking about next year. It's been a successful season for a team that was expected to finish middle-of-the-pack and ended up being much better than that.
Michigan's other NCAA Tournament team, the U-M Wolverines, came from 14 points down against Kansas with seven minutes left to tie the game with a Trey Burek 3-pointer with 5 ticks left on the clock. Then the Wolverines broke the Jayhawks' hearts by winning in overtime, 87-85. Michigan has had its share of close shaves this seson, including losing a heartbreaker at Wisconsin when Ben Brust heaved up a half-court desperation shot as time expired (it was good), which sent the game into OT and led to a Badgers win. On the last day of the Big Ten regular season, Michigan choked away a 5 point lead with a minute left and lost at home to Indiana, 72-71. On Sunday the Wolverines will face the Florida Gators for a chance to go to their first Final Four in 20 years. I'm no Florida fan, but I hope they win because if Michigan wins, their fans will be insufferable this week. (I should know, I work with some of them.)
BARACK ANTOINETTE — At a time when millions of Americans are suffering and struggling, the elitist president and his family just keep on taking lavish vacations on the taxpayers' dime. The daughters supposedly spent time at the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas, then jetted out to Sun Valley, Idaho for some skiing. This is in addition to seemingly countless excursions to Europe, expensive golf outings, and family trips to Hawaii. The media hypocrites would be indignant if a Republican did this, but they give their guy a pass. So typical, and so pathetic.
HAPPY EASTER & PASSOVER — Happy Easter to our Christian readers; Happy Passover to our Jewish readers. Hope everyone can step back and reflect on life's deeper meaning and spend quality time with loved ones. One thing that's nice: We're finally getting some mild weather here in lower Michigan. It's been a colder than normal March, so it was great to have a 57-degree, sunny day today, and Sunday's forecast calls for rain and temps in the 50s. I'll take it.