Riding high into Crisler (don't call it Chrysler) Arena
meanwhile, not everyone at the worldwide leader was psyched about the MSU win. here were Joe Lunardi's thoughts:
Just when Michigan State was about to challenge for a No. 1 seed, the Spartans lost at home to Northwestern. The Wildcats are certainly improved, but I can't remember the last time a potential Final Four team lost at home to Northwestern. Yuk.
next up for NU is a struggling Michigan Wolverines squad. UM actually got up to #23 in late December and started 3-1 in conference but has lost three in a row. at 13-6 they don't have any terrible losses and obviously earned the big wins over Duke and UCLA. Michigan shot 5/30 from 3PT in their loss @ State College on tuesday, so they figure to get their shot back playing at home tomorrow. Michigan takes more threes per game than anyone in the conference, which helps to offset their 32.8 shooting %. (NU is at 38.1%)
the Wildcats' only conference win last year came at Michigan. this is a team they should be able to play with, and the style of play is similar. John Beilein (going for his 500th win) loves the 1-3-1 zone with a half-court trap, and NU should be able to defend the motion offense. the biggest challenge for the 'cats may simply be that UM runs a lot of the same stuff but does so with superior athleticism, i.e. Manny Harris outside and DeShawn Sims inside. that said, this is a very winnable game and would/should/could be a huge boost to fan interest and attendance with six of the next seven games at home.