Michigan State Falls to Butler in Final Four
April 3, 2010
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - After 25 years, "Hoosiers" could use an update.
One more win, and Butler will have the perfect script.
Gordon Hayward had 19 points and nine rebounds, including one with 2 seconds left that sealed the game. The small school looked anything but, taking down another of college basketball's biggest names with a 52-50 victory over Michigan State in the Final Four on Saturday. Butler (33-4) now plays the winner of West Virginia-Duke in Monday night's title game.
In its hometown, no less.
Hollywood couldn't write this any better.
"We've been talking about the next game all year, and it's great to be able to say the next game's for a national championship," Hayward said.
Michigan State (28-9) has been living on the edge all tournament, ravaged by injuries and squeaking from game to game, and this night was no different. After trailing by as much as seven in the second half, Draymond Green made a pair of free throws to pull Michigan State within 50-49 with 56 seconds left.
Ronald Nored missed a jumper, and Michigan State got the rebound. But Hayward wouldn't give the driving Green an inch, forcing him to put up an awkward layup that didn't come close. Nored scooped up the rebound, and Green had no choice but to foul him, pushing the big fella out of the game.
Nored made both, and the Bulldogs had a 52-49 lead with 6 seconds to play.
After a timeout, the Spartans inbounded the ball and Butler was all over them, choosing to foul rather than take a chance on the Spartans getting of a 3 - like they did to beat Maryland at the buzzer. Korie Lucious made the first and bricked the second. Hayward came up with the ball to seal the victory and set off a party the likes of which Indiana hasn't seen since tiny Milan beat Muncie Central for the state title in 1954, the real-life inspiration for "Hoosiers."
Although the Bulldogs are no plucky underdog, there's no doubting the connections between "Hoosiers" and Butler's magical run. In the movie, the final score was 42-40. The actual Milan final score - 32-30.
And Saturday night, 52-50.
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