Commentary

Spartans upset Louisville for trip home

Updated: March 29, 2009, 9:35 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

Michigan State beat Louisville is one thing, but the way the Spartans dominated was a shocker. The Cardinals had a 13-game winning streak entering Sunday, and was held to 52 points. Only Connecticut (51) held Rick Pitino's quintet to fewer points this season.

Tom Izzo's team was brilliant. The number one priority was to protect the basketball against Louisville's pressure defense. They did a fantastic job and many people feel the pressure will wear you down. The depth factor did not catch up with Michigan State as they were stronger in the second half, building on a three-point lead they enjoyed at intermission.

The Spartans responded in such a positive way. Their guards made sure they got the ball up the floor, and Goran Suton was on fire early. Suton put up 17 points in the first half.

This Michigan State team is peaking at the right time. It is 10-1 in its last 11 games, with the lone loss coming to Ohio State in the Big Ten tournament. Izzo's club has enjoyed a nice run in the big dance with wins over a hot USC club, Kansas and now Louisville.

Izzo is a master in the one-and-done situation. He is now 30-10 in NCAA tournament play during his 14 seasons as Michigan State head coach. Only Mike Krzyzewski has a better mark than Izzo's 75 percent among active coaches.

The inspiration of getting to Ford Field was an emotional edge and a positive. The Spartans were at Ford Field earlier this season, and it was a domination by North Carolina. This is a different Michigan State team now, and Suton was out with a knee injury in the last trip to Detroit.

Suton brings another dimension. The 6-10 senior is a factor on the glass and in the lane.

Izzo's toughness is reflected by his kids. They rebound and defend. They stopped the Cardinals in every way, controlling Terrence Williams and Samardo Samuels. Travis Walton did a super job defending Williams.

Izzo is going to his fifth Final Four in an 11-year span. Congratulations to Michigan State as it heads home to Michigan.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.