The Washington Times - March 27, 2009, 06:13PM

INDIANAPOLIS – The second game here in the Midwest regional has generated next to no buzz.

That’s a shame, because Kansas-Michigan State looks like a heck of a game.

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But think about this for a second – if Michigan State manages to win two games here at Lucas Oil Stadium this weekend, the Spartans will get the ultra-rare homecourt Final Four.

Well, not entirely homecourt. East Lansing is about 88 miles from Detroit. But ever since UCLA won the 1972 title in Los Angeles, few teams have played in a Final Four all that close to home.

I eyeballed a few possibilities and punched them into an online map generator to get some mileage. Clearly, Sparty would be receiving some home cooking unlike many others over the last 37 years:

39.8: Kansas-to-Kansas City (1988)

64.7: Rutgers-to-Philadelphia (1976)

70.5: Purdue-to-Indianapolis (1980)

78.4: N.C. State-to-Greensboro (1974)

114.6: Louisville-to-Indianapolis (1980)

120.8: UCLA-to-San Diego (1975)

145.6: Duke-to-Charlotte (1994)

Obviously, that would make Michigan State the closest thing to a home team in the Final Four since, realistically, 1988.

But the short road to Final Four still has two long segments in it – Kansas, then a date with either Louisville or Arizona on Sunday.

Patrick Stevens