Saturday, April 3, 2010
By the numbers: Butler-Michigan State
By Brett Edgerton
Courtesy of our friends over at ESPN Stats and Information, here are a few numbers and factoids to digest in the wake of Butler's win over Michigan State.
The 52-50 final made for the lowest combined score in a national semifinal game since Michigan State beat Wisconsin 53-41 in 2000. The Spartans went on to win the title two days later.
In the shot-clock era (since 1986), the 52 points scored by Butler are the fewest ever for a victor in the national semifinals.
Butler won despite dishing out a season-low five assists and shooting 24 percent in the second half.
Butler has held all five of its tournament opponents under 60 points. The last team to put together a streak that long in the same tourney was the 1985 Cinderella squad from Villanova. And we all know how that one turned out.
Butler is just the third 5-seed to make the title game. The other two couldn't quite finish it off: Florida lost to Michigan State here in Indy in 2000 and Indiana lost to Maryland in 2002.
If it wins Monday, Butler would be the lowest-seeded champion since Danny Manning led 6th-seeded Kansas – Danny and the Miracles – to the 1988 national title. Like Butler, KU played that game near home...less than an hour away in Kansas City.
With a win Monday, Butler would match the total number of tourney wins it had in school history (6-8) entering this tournament.
Tom Izzo's 2-4 record in national semifinal games is tied with Denny Crum for the worst all-time with a minimum of five games coached.
In his sterling NCAA tourney career, this was Izzo’s first tournament loss decided by five points or fewer. He’d previously been 6-0 in those situations.
The 50 points were the fewest ever scored by an Izzo-coached MSU team in the NCAA tournament. That’s a span of 47 games.