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|Photos: Johnson (AP), Skiles (Michigan State Univ.), Smith (Getty)|
|Eric Neel predicts ...|
I'm not even going to talk about the First Law of Magic Johnson, which states that "If Catalyst A can make Terry Donnelly a viable NCAA Championship Game participant, then Catalyst A is a lead-pipe cinch to make Steve Smith an unstoppable force of nature the likes of which the good people of Arizona have never seen."
I'm not even going to talk about that. I'm just going to say this: Scott Skiles can play. Scott Skiles defends. Scott Skiles is gritty. Scott Skiles is gutty. Scott Skiles will take your heart out and hold it before your bugged-out eyes as you gasp your last basketball breath. And I'm talking to you, Miles Simon. And I'm looking at you, Mike Bibby. And hey, Damon, put down the blunt and pay attention, because this is your future I'm laying out, too.
Final score: Michigan State 82, Arizona 70
|Photos: Elliott (Univ. of Arizona), Stoudamire (Getty), Bibby (Getty)|
|Scoop Jackson predicts ...|
With all the talk about Georgia Tech's three-guard offense, the best guard trio in the entire tournament might be on the underrated Wildcats from Arizona. Although small in height (their average size is 6-foot-5) the play of Bibby, Arenas and Stoudamire is something the Spartans have not seen before, not all at once.
State's Magic Johnson keeps trying to back whichever guard is on him down in the paint for the easy score, but the rotating defensive pressure of Mighty Mouse and L.A.'s Finest (Arenas) make it hard to dominate the way he should. And it seems like Simon, Elliott and Jefferson only miss two shots from the field. Although outrebounded by 20, Arizona keeps itself in the game by hitting 70 percent from 3-point land -- including one Elliott drains with 1.5 left to secure the upset.
Final score: Arizona 95, Michigan State 91