SI.com caught up with Seth Davis, who's serving as a CBS studio analyst during the tournament, to get his impressions of Saturday's Final Four games.
SI.com: Who's your pick for the title now?
Seth Davis: I honestly don't know. Michigan State is just playing so well, you almost wonder if they're a team of destiny or are they destined to crash back to earth? The crowd probably had a bigger impact than I would have guessed. To me, they seemed to be really feeding off the energy of the crowd, if you're not in the dome, it's hard to realize what it's like in there with the largest crowd in tournament history and 60 percent are rooting for Michigan State.
SI.com: What did Michigan State do right?
SD: Michigan State got positive contributions from everyone who stepped on the floor. There's nobody who played for Michigan State tonight who didn't impact the game. It's breathtaking. Ten different guys scored, their bench outscored UConn's 33-7. Raymar Morgan was the guy, at the start of the year, who was thought to be the Big Ten player of the year, and when Tom Izzo came to the set after we were done talking to him on camera, he said he had a talk with Raymar. Morgan is too hard on himself and gets down and then he had the added adversity of the broken nose and the mask which is uncomfortable, and he's had a bad tournament and had one made field goal in the previous three games, but comes out tonight and had 18 points, nine rebounds.
SI.com: What did North Carolina do right today?
SD: They shot it great and they always shoot it great, but tonight they were 11 for 22 from three-point range. They only shot 31 percent in the second half, but by then it didn't matter. They could have shot it better if it did. They defended very well. For a team that has won as much as they have and in their second-straight Final Four, their defense is questioned a lot and I think the doubts are overdone. One thing about Villanova is they're great about driving the ball and getting to the foul line, but tonight 'Nova shot 16 free throws, and shot 27 three-pointers, which is bad. They shot 5 for 27 from the three. In comparison, Wayne Ellington goes 5 for 7 from the three, so he had as many made and 20 less attempts.
SI.com: What does Michigan State need to do to top North Carolina?
SD: They've got to outtough them and get into their bench. The only reserve who plays well for UNC is Ed Davis, but after that, it's Bobby Frasor, and Tyler Zeller and little bit of Larry Drew, so they basically have no bench. Michigan State lives for its bench, so they can wear them out physically and can rotate a lot of bigs on Tyler Hansbrough. They need help from UNC, so at some point you're going to have to hope that they miss and then go get the rebound.
SI.com: What does North Carolina have to do?
SD: Deal with the environment. They're literally walking into an environment that will go down in history in college basketball. They have to show poise and score against the best defensive team they've played all year. They're the best offensive team in the country and what's great about this matchup is teams like UConn and Louisville can score a lot of points, but neither is the offensive juggernaut that Carolina is. The Tar Heels are averaging 90 points a game, so its going to be a battle between a great defensive and great offensive team. No matter what, it is going to be a lot of fun.
SI.com: What did you think about UConn coach Jim Calhoun's comments after the game, that he's not making any decisions about his future yet?
SD: He's obviously a very emotional guy, and I have no idea what he's going to do, but I don't think you can take him literally because there's no filter with Jim Calhoun. He says what he thinks and in a lot of cases that's a good thing, because there's no pretense. To me, its not an issue of the allegations against UConn, just as much as his stamina and his health. He had two games this year that he was too sick to coach and he's going to be 67 by October 15, but I think he's very proud and generally speaking I'd be pretty surprised if he wasn't back at UConn next season.
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