Monday, March 30, 2009

Score one for the numerologists

Pencil Michigan State in for the 2013 Final Four and UConn for a return in 2014, but not before.

History majors should have put the Spartans in Detroit on the four-year cycle. Tom Izzo took the Spartans to the Final Four in 2001 and 2005 (let's just ignore the '99 and '00 trips for purpose of this blog post).

Like the Olympics or World Cup, Izzo has his team ready every four years (which actually makes some sense on a recruiting-cycle basis).

UConn's five-year plan is tougher to decipher but easier to predict. Jim Calhoun's only Final Four trips have come five years apart. All three have been routed through the greater Phoenix area as well.

One thought for UNC fans: Calhoun's 2-for-2 in the Final Four, winning the title in 1999 and 2004 and each championship win came against an ACC team -- Duke in '99 and Georgia Tech in '04.

One thought for UConn fans: The Huskies refused to cut down the nets after winning the West Regional. Mistake. Always cut down the nets after the conference tournament or regional final (but not the regular-season title).

UNC skipped the net-cutting ceremony in 1994 in Charlotte after winning the ACC Tournament. The Final Four was in Charlotte that year and the Heels assumed they would be back and take the nets then. UNC never got back to Charlotte, losing to Boston College in the second round. -- J.P. Giglio