ST. LOUIS -- Quick thoughts from Michigan State 70, Tennessee 69.
Brilliant basketball game. Splendid offense in the first half, relentless defense in the second half. Just an incredible battle waged at a very high level all 40 minutes.
I don't know how Michigan State does it. This team is very flawed without Kalin Lucas, but it doesn't matter. Tom Izzo is at the height of his game now -- and that's really high.
Salute to Tennessee for refusing to submit. Even down eight points midway through the second half, the Volunteers refused to fold and came back to lead late. Phenomenal effort by Bruce Pearl's team.
Raymar Morgan made the winning free throw with 1.8 seconds left, but it was a genius pass inside from point power forward Draymond Green to Morgan that set up the play and drew the foul. Green gets my vote as the smartest player in college basketball.
Tennessee will be haunted by some key missed free throws, none bigger than the one by Scotty Hopson with 11.2 seconds left. Hopson made one to tie the game, but could not hit the one that would have given UT the lead and really put pressure on that last possession for the Spartans.