It’s funny how, several weeks ago, people in East Lansing would have been ecstatic knowing MSU would have both teams in the Final Four. But watching the men’s and women’s teams end their respective seasons, people are thinking, “We blew it. If we had just made that shot, or held on to that loose ball, maybe our teams could have done it. They should have done it.” [game]
But does achieving beyond what anyone in the nation believed possible make these two teams losers because they didn’t bring home the hardware? Does failing in the final rounds of college basketball’s greatest challenge make our warriors soft and scared? Raise your hand if you honestly predicted the women would play for the national title and the men would reach the Final Four this year. Not too many of you, are there?
Thankfully, there are some MSU fans who appreciate this year for what it was, a year of defying the odds. A year where “never give up” was more than a phrase, it was a style of basketball. A No. 5 seed beating a No. 1 and 2 seed, both in come-from-behind victories. A No. 1 seed that silenced the critics who questioned their ranking by sending a historic program and legendary coach home early. Two more banners to be hung proudly in Breslin Center next year. A team who refused to let a 16-point deficit discourage them and came back for a breathtaking win. And finally a team labeled as perpetual underachievers able to throw the demons off their backs that have plagued them for nearly four years.
“I’m excited with the way both teams competed and am very proud of both of their accomplishments,” no preference sophomore Dan Schemmel said.
Criminal justice senior Tesla Hughes agrees. “No matter what, MSU is the only school this year who can say they had both their teams in the Final Four. I don’t think it’s a disappointment that we didn’t win a title, I think it’s a great reflection on our athletic program.”
After knocking off top squads from Kentucky and Duke, the men’s team fell to the University of North Carolina in the Final Four. UNC went on two nights later to beat Illinois for the national title.
The blinding media glare wasn’t enough to dim the Lady Spartans as they overcame a powerful Tennessee in the Final Four, 68-64, before losing to Baylor in the national championship game.
“Overall they were two great seasons to watch,” electrical engineering sophomore Matt Torres said. “I’m just glad to be a part of all of this and to be a Spartan.”
“Our teams finished second and fourth in the nation and we collectively beat Kentucky, Duke and Tennessee,” education sophomore Ashley Kaminski said. “There’s not a sport at MSU that wouldn’t be happy with that kind of finish.”
The end of the men’s and women’s seasons is nothing for any Spartan to hang their head about; instead it’s a time for all of us to look toward the sky and thank those college basketball gods for letting little East Lansing bask in the national limelight this season.
We can’t wait to do it all over again next year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *