5 Things for March 31st: MSU and Michigan Suffer Season-Ending Losses
1. A rough way to end a pretty good career for Keith Appling. The senior point guard scored 10 total points in four NCAA tournament games, and had a bad day in yesterday's loss to 60-54 Connecticut.
With MSU losing 53-51 and roughly 30 seconds to go, Appling fouled Shabazz Napier on this three-point attempt, courtesy of Larry Brown Sports:
As expected, Napier drilled all three free throws, and the Huskies never looked back. MSU did some other things poorly. They turned the ball over 16 times, and many of them led to run-outs on the other end. 29 of their 46 field goal attempts were three-pointers, and they didn't get many good looks around the rim.
This was a tough loss for a multitude of reasons. Tom Izzo's streak of sending every four-year player to a Final Four is over. MSU did not play it's best game, and is probably a better team than UConn. The Spartans will likely take a step back next year, and you do not know the next time they will be able to make a final four or win a national championship. This was one of Izzo's most talented teams and somewhat of a missed opportunity.
2. The Michigan/Kentucky game was outstanding. With the game tied at 72 and under five seconds to go, Aaron Harrison drilled a big-time three to give his team team the lead:
Kentucky went on to win 75-72. It was an incredibly well-played basketball game. Nik Stauskas led the Wolverines with 24 points. However, it just wasn't enough, as Kentucky shot 7-11 from behind the arc and out-rebounded Michigan 35-24.
3. The Red Wings had a fantastic weekend. They beat the Leafs 4-2 Saturday, led by Darren Helm's hat trick. Then, Gustav Nyquist continued his hot scoring Sunday as they Wings beat the Lighting 3-2. Most of the other teams on the playoff bubble lost games this weekend, so Detroit is currently the seven seed and looks very good to make the playoffs. Here are the standings courtesy of NHL.com.
4. It is opening day in Major League Baseball, and the Tigers play at 1:08. Justin Verlander will start for Detroit, and Kansas City counters with James Shields. We will have the game on our sister station, 1240 WJIM.
5. The Pistons had another brutal weekend. They got blown out by 32 against the Heat on Friday. Saturday, they allowed the 76ers to snap a 26 game losing streak in blowout fashion.
Steve Miller is on-air from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. producing ‘Mad Dog in the Morning’ on The Game 730 AM. He also co-hosts Prep Basketball Weekly from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturdays, and can be heard on high school basketball broadcasts. Follow him on Twitter @SteveMilllerWVFN.