Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cool Hand Lucas And A Toot of My Own Horn

Michigan State 57 Michigan 56 So, in my breakdown of this game yesterday, I concluded that Michigan needed to shoot much better from behind the arc than they have been to have a shot at winning. They didn't. They missed a staggering 22 of 29 three point attempts. Despite that, they were a rimmed out shot from DeShawn Sims away from victory in the final second. I seriously underestimated two things: 1) Michigan's ability to create turnovers with their 1-3-1 zone and Michigan State's happy propensity to cough up turnovers; 2) DeShawn Sim's impact.

The Spartans turned it over 18 times, and Michigan made them pay with 23 points off turnovers. DeShawn Sims was the Wolverines highest scorer last year, and he repeated the performance with 19 points last night. When MSU made a run late in the second half, he responded with two clutch threes to keep Michigan ahead.

In the end, I was right about one thing, the Spartans had too many ways to win. They got a great defensive performance from Chris Allen on Manny Harris. Raymar Morgan turned in a monster performance, with 8 for 9 shooting and 20 points. Then Kalin Lucas took over again, hitting a stone cold mid range jumper with 3.5 seconds left to play. It was enough to put the Spartans up for good, 57 to 56. State is now 8 and 0 in Big Ten play, their best conference start in school history.

South Carolina 68 Kentucky 62 The day after Texas fell to Kansas State, I made the bold, foolhardy prediction that Kentucky would lose their first game to South Carolina. Apparently the fates saw fit to smile on me and the Gamecocks. I made the prediction based on four factors: 1) Kentucky's shaky performance on the road, and their lack of road experience; 2) South Carolina's impressive play at home; 3) The awesome that is Devan Downey (didn't do too shabby for my fantasy team's stats last night, either); 4) The fact that this game wasn't even registering as a possible upset.

It's entirely possible that Kentucky looked past this game, though it would be a shame considering it was their first as no. 1 in the country. That part is debatable. What isn't debatable is that Kentucky was rattled on the road, and even the great John Wall showed a little of the freshman in him. Eric Bledsoe and John Wall turned the ball over 9 times between the two of them. Devan Downey, meanwhile, took care of the ball and lead his team with 30 points. He did it on 9 for 29 shooting, but in a win like this, with a stat like 30 points, I don't think anyone is going to remember that part.

No comments:

Post a Comment