It was a streak that always came up at this time of the season. Every four-year senior who played for coach Tom Izzo at Michigan State had made at least one trip to the Final Four. The streak is over. When Connecticut started celebrating its 60-54 victory over the Spartans on Sunday at Madison Square Garden, it meant the two seniors who meant so much to this team as it reached the East Regional final in an injury-riddled season - Adreian Payne and Keith Appling - would not get to make the trip this week to North Dallas. Izzo started his head coaching career at Michigan State with the 1995-96 season. He has taken the Spartans to the Final Four six times and they won it all in 2000.
Kentucky knocked Michigan's defense off the rails and right out of the NCAA tournament Sunday. The Wolverines (28-9) were beaten on the glass, in the paint and at the end when Caris LeVert couldn't stop Aaron Harrison's 3-pointer with 2.6 seconds left in the Midwest Regional final. The result: Kentucky is bound for the Final Four with a 75-72 win. And the team that came up short in last year's national championship game and this year's Big Ten tournament title game, fell short again in the regional title game, in large part because Kentucky coach John Calipari guessed Michigan would defend the middle and give Harrison a chance to win it from outside.