micah holmquist's irregular thoughts and links
Welcome to the musings and notes of a Cadillac, Michigan based writer named Micah Holmquist, who is bothered by his own sarcasm.
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Sunday, March 27, 2005
I have never seen a greater game. Better played games? Yes. Better outcomes (sports fandom is subjective to me)? Yes, but not by much. A game more symbolic? I doubt it and there is beauty in that.
My beloved Spartans had gone since 2001 without a championship. This was the last shot at it for seniors Alan Anderson, Tim Bograkos, Chris Hill and Kelvin Torbert, and they did it.
Michigan State had a 23-16 lead with 8:14 left in the first half. Kentucky went on an 11 point run. The first half end at 37-33. The Spartans had it tied up less than two minutes into the next period.
MSU dominated much of the second half with quick play from Maurice Ager and Shannon Brown, stifling defense and Paul Davis' solid play. They had an 8 point lead with 5:20 left and things looked good.
Kentucky, as you might have guessed if you didn't already know, came back and tied it up with last second three to secure an extra five minutes. Patrick Sparks may have had his foot on the line when he took the shot. He probably didn't, and Kentucky had the energy.
The Wildcats scored the first four of overtime and went up 79-75. MSU looked lost and I think it appeared to just about everybody that they were going to lose, but they kept it tight by finally getting three point shot after four offensive rebounds.
The first overtime ended at 81-81 after MSU prevented Kentucky from scoring on another shot with less than a second. The second overtime was better and through great free throw shooting, Michigan State won 94-88.
The game featured MSU playing well, screwing it up and falling behind, making a sold comeback that they couldn't quite finish and then looking hopeless. In short, it was MSU basketball for the last four seasons. But redemption came and somehow that makes everything ok. They are champions.
Some things are sublime because they are not what came before.