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Niels Giffey

Spartans Will Themselves Into The Final Four

Spartans Will Themselves Into The Final Four

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The loss to UConn last year on the final Sunday in March cut deep. It cut a proud coach. It cut a proud Michigan State basketball program. UConn's greatest joy would give the returning Spartan players their greatest pain and eventually their greatest motivation.

Branden Dawson, Denzel Valentine, Travis Trice, they can admit it now.

"This is going to sound crazy, but looking back, I'm kind of happy that we did lose last year because it makes us feel so much better to be on the other side of it," Trice, the irrepressible 6-foot senior guard, said after the Spartans beat back Louisville 76-70 in overtime to advance to the seventh Final Four of coach Tom...