Celebration photos online
Go tthe Daily Sports Website for
more of the scene last night in
APRIL 4, 2000 9
[ Michigan State schools
i Florida for NCAA title
East Lansigfans take
to streets out ofhappbiess
AST LANSING - Hundreds
of beer-soaked hands hoisted
bmero the air and tossed me
around like a beach ball, slapping
my out-spread hands while the fans
chanted "Go State, go," last night
after Michigan State won its first
NCAA basketball championship
since those Magical days.
One Spartan offered me a beer.
H is girlfriend, clad from head-to-
toe in Breslin green offered me a
And for a
moment, just one
brief moment, I
was proud to be
anging with the
I was proud
that this emerald
cent to our state'
capital could _ __ __
bask in the glory of a national
championship without rioting, for
I was touched that Sparty would
offer me, his arch rival from 1-96
east, a brew from his stash of honey
nectar, and then trust his sweetheart
in my greasy hands.
Of course I didn't actually tell
him I was a columnist from a news-
paper in hated Ann Arbor, and I
only wanted to mock him, later, in
In truth, though, I have a soft
of for Michigan State.
This is a school so frustrated with
losing that, when victory somehow
stuck to its unassuming fingers, the
Spartans were too surprised to riot.
Or maybe they simply had no
more angst to shed.
Middle school physics teaches us
that a flame only burns until its
prey disappears. A candle goes out
when the wick reaches the wax, and
a forest fire dies when there's no
more wood to burn.
Similarly, the noticeable lack of
couches in East Lansing yesterday
may have hindered the Spartan
faithful from their annual bonfire of
Well, that and Mateen Cleaves
returning to the court after a seem-
ingly game-ending injury.
But ask Mateen why he didn't
take a seat on the bench after sus-
taining a serious ankle injury in
yesterday's NCAA Championship
Go on, ask him.
The truth is, there were no bench-
es, couches or anything left to sit
on, because the Michigan State
pyromaniacs burned them up a'year
And so I pitied the Spartan bas-
ketball team, which had to over-
shadow its riot-prone student body
Imagine all the pressure coach
Tom Izzo must have faced yester-
Fail to win a national champi-
onship for the second year in a row,
with this kind of talent, and the stu-
dent body makes kindling of your
city all over again.
Yes, the Michigan State fans
rejoiced until the wee hours out of
bliss with their sweet victory.
And drinks are much easier to
swallow when they're guzzled out
of happiness rather than mourning.
Read: an inebriated man at his
bachelor party sings and dances out
of happiness, even when he's no
Meanwhile, the drunken
scoundrel whose just been laid off
work pisses and moans, and throws
his empty bottle at a pedestrian.
-- .Iacoh iW hele/er prefers to drink
when he:s happ Hle can he reached
1i'ja email at jwhee/er(wuichi. edu-.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -This time
there was no Magic, just Mateen.
Michigan State, with Magic Johnson
cheering in the stands, won its second
national championship as Mateen
Cleaves led the Spartans to an 89-76
victory over Florida on Monday night.
It was 21 years ago that the champi-
onship game between Michigan State
and Indiana State - Magic vs. Bird -
changed the landscape of college bas-
This one may not have the magni-
tude, but it had the drama thanks to
Cleaves, the Spartans' limping leader
who needed crutches for his iniured
ankle after celebrating with his team-
"Hc has the heart of a lion. He has
done it for four years, not just one,"
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said.
"That's why you love him. He's what
our program embodies."
Cleaves, the game's most outstanding
player, rolled his ankle early in the sec-
ond half and had to go to the locker
room to have it taped. Earlier, he helped
the Spartans build a 43-32 halftime lead
by scoring 13 points, including going 3-
for-3 from 3-point range, and negated
Florida's vaunted full-court pressure
with his ballhandling and passing.
"I told them he'll be back. Let's not
get our heads down," Izzo said. "I just
When Cleaves left with 16:18 to play
the Spartans lcd 50-44. His teammates
got the lead to 58-50 by the time he
returned 4:29 later. But the senior guard
who missed the first 13 games of the
season while recovering from a stress
fracture in his right foot, was again the
team's emotional leader.
His long pass to Morris Peterson for
a layup made it 60-50. He was leveled
while setting a screen a few minutes
later but it was enough to spring A.J.
Granger for a 3-pointer that started a
16-6 run that made it 84-66 and put the
Michigan State had been on a mis-
sion since losing to Duke in the Final
Four last season. Anything short of a
national championship would have
been a disappointment.
"We made some promises. We
answered the promises," Izzo said.
Cleaves certainly didn't beat Florida
Peterson finished with 21 points on
7-for-14 shooting and Granger had 19
and was 7-for-I I from the field.
Cleaves was 7-for-1I from the field
- all the shots coming before he was
injured - and had 18 points and four
Cleaves returned for his senior year
after many thought he would go to the
"This is what I came back here'for,"
"This is as storybook as it gets for
Mateen," Izzo said. "He gave upa lot of
money, a lot of things to be back here."
Just like in the old days on the playgrounds of Flint, Michigan State's Morris
Peterson and Charlie Bell celebrate their success, this time in helping the
Spartans to their second NCAA Championship.
C a 1 0
... Carl Emigholz, whose expertise earns him the title
of Pizza House-michigandaily.com college hoops
expert on campus. The top five finishers:
@ i #
_ Z A"
K c se
points (+ tiebreaker)
Michigan State's championship season
Mississippi Valley St.
$ . 9
10 free Pizza House
::y'.. ^:.. :
But not everybody can be so lucky. The Daily salutes
another Carl, and the noble but feable efforts of the
bottom five finishers. Sorry, guys:
FULBRIGHT PROGRAM FOR
STUDY & RESEARCH ABROAD
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J s r 1
The Fulbright programs support study abroad in over 10
Gountries, providing grants for research, study and travel for
selected countries, and various other opportunities such
as teaching assistantships. Competition for the 2001-2002
academic year will open in May 2000.
The competition is open to US students at all graduate levels and to
seniors who will have graduated by the time the award is taken up.
Students need not have international experience to be considered.
Recent graduates and graduating seniors are not at a disadvantage.
SPRING INFORMATION SESSIONS FOR STUDENTS
Information sessions iil be held on April 3 at 3pm, and
April 4 at 5pmn in room 2609 of the International Institute. To
register for a session contact the U-M Fulbright Program Advisor,
Kirsten Willis, at 763-3297 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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