Gonzaga had a rough game on Saturday against Mississippi Valley State. Did they lose? No. Was the game Ever in question. No.
But they turned the ball over too many times. Was it jitters? I don't think so. Matt Bouldin was the one seemingly turning the ball over. That will have to stop if they wanna beat the #2 team in the nation today.
We all know about Kalin Lucas. He is a dominant player in the post. Can Gonzaga stop Lucas? I don't think so. They will have to contain him. What is really good news for Michigan State, however, is that Gonzaga really doesn't have a Josh Heytvelt or a Ronny Turiaf type player for this game. They have Elias Harris and Robert Sacre, two physical forwards/centers that could in the long run help wear down Michigan State. Will that happen? Probably not. Michigan State is pretty physical themselves.
If you didn't hear about that, ask UCONN, or Louisville, or anyone else they played in the tournament last season. They are good!
One thing both teams need to watch is the tempo of the game. If the game is a little bit slower, I expect Michigan State to pressure the basketball so that Gonzaga makes turnovers (like they did Saturday) and overall they will win the game. What I wanna see happen, is for Gonzaga to push the basketball forward, and not really think twice about shooting a Stephen Gray three, or a mid range shot from Matt Bouldin. I would rather try to score, than to have too many turnovers. Try to get the ball to Sacre and Harris every once in a while, and try to play very loose. This game is in East Lansing, so we just gotta give it all we got.
Tom Izzo is a great coach, and I respect him a lot, and the university has the same attitude as their coach. In turn I thank Michigan State for scheduling a game in Spokane with us next year. I am so thankful to have such a tough opponent like Michigan State come to our house!
The last time these teams met was in the Maui Invitational in 2005. Some of you may remember Adam Morrison and Mo Ager went shot for shot the entire game. Anytime it seemed like Mo Ager had MSU running high, Adam Morrison had an answer. Anyway, to make a long story short, Gonzaga ended up winning one of the greatest College Basketball games ever 109-106 in 3OTs.
I hope tonights game is as Great as that game there. But overall, I think Michigan State is much better than Gonzaga.
Michigan State - 84
Gonzaga - 79