The 2009 college basketball season is now down to four teams who will go to Detroit this weekend to decide the men's championship. While all four No. 1 seeds didn't make it to the Final Four this year, three powerhouses, Connecticut, Michigan State and North Carolina, did. Those three are joined by Villanova, who won it all last time it made it this far. This past weekend, Tyler Hansbrough and UNC topped Blake Griffin and Oklahoma in one of the marquee matchups thus far in the tournament. Despite an eventual 23 points, Griffin was held scoreless for the first 11 minutes of the game owing to a relentless Tar Heels double team. "We fully believed we were going to win this basketball game today, but this is how life is sometimes. It doesn't happen the way you want it," Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel said after the game. "I thought the game would've been a lot more interesting if we could've made some shots, but I thought we had some really good looks." For his part, Hansbrough spent much of the first half on the bench after collecting two fouls early in the game. As a result, Danny Green and Ty Lawson stepped up to lead the Tar Heels into the final weekend of the season. Michigan State will be the hometown favorite as the Spartans enter the Final Four after holding the Louisville Cardinals 33 points below their tournament average. "It's as big a win as our school has had because we're going to Detroit, and that's been a dream and a goal since they announced where the Final Four was in 2009," head coach Tom Izzo said.
Goran Suton went for 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Spartans, but State also showcased its depth with nine players scoring points and Durrell Summers contributing 12 points off the bench. And it didn't hurt that the team shot 50% from downtown. "They were the better team," said Louisville's Terrence Williams, who was held to five points. "They were quicker than us, their defense was more physical and we couldn't turn them over like we wanted to." Villanova, at No. 3 the highest seed remaining, upset Big East rival Pittsburgh 78-76 to advance to its first Final Four since 1985. To say it was close would be an understatement. The Wildcats were trailing by two at halftime, and they took their first lead on a Shane Clark jumper with 14:40 to go. The lead switched 12 times after that. The last of the four teams is UConn, which got past Missouri for its third Final Four. The Huskies started their win over the Tigers with a 13-2 run, and freshman Kemba Walker matched a career high with 23 points. Missouri led 50-49 with 13:35 to go, and it spent much of the second half within 3 points of the lead, but the Tigers trailed by seven entering the final minute. In the first game Saturday evening, UConn will take on Michigan State. UNC will meet Villanova in the second game.