As my friend Mal and I sat tonight in Canz, which I highly highly recommend if you are a red blooded heterosexual male, we watched Butler out Michigan State Michigan State. Meaning, the Bulldogs were more physical than the Spartans, which is Michigan State's trademark. And Tom Izzo even said as much after the game.
Besides being more physical, there were three key factors in Butler beating Michigan State.
1) Michigan State outrebounded Butler 34-30. BUT, the Bulldogs had more offensive rebounds than the Spartans did, 11-8. It was the only game in the tournament where Michigan State was outrebounded on the offensive glass. In fact, in three of their four tournament wins, the Spartans had double digits in offensive rebounds. And it's even more of an amazing stat considering Matt Howard only played 15 minutes (though he had 2 offensive rebounds in those 15 minutes, his only 2 rebounds of the game).
2) Butler outscored Michigan State on points off turnovers 20-2. That's how you make up for 30 percent shooting and 23 percent from beyond the arc, and despite Michigan State shooting 43 percent from the field. The Bulldogs had seven more field goal attempts than the Spartans.
3) The Bulldogs shot 17 of 24 from the line while Michigan State was 10 of 18.
Game, set, and match.
To say how great win this is for a program like Butler, well words can't describe it. And we couldn't hear the audio at Canz, because they played music instead of the audio of the game, so we can't even say if Nance and Kellogg had the words to describe it. But that's a slight minus because the beautiful bartenders/waitresses made up for it.
But maybe this can. Butler is the first mid major team to make the finals of the NCAA Tournament since Indiana State in 1979. Yes that Indiana State team. And this time, there will be no Michigan State team in its way. Cause the Bulldogs out Sparta-d the Spartans.