The Washington Times - March 29, 2009, 03:12PM

INDIANAPOLIS – The biggest cheer of the first half of the Midwest regional came when former Michigan State star Magic Johnson was shown on the ginormous video boards in Lucas Oil Stadium.

Besides Goran Suton, no one else has provided Sparty much reason for cheer. Suton has been the Michigan State offense, scoring 17 points with moves both near the basket and on the perimeter.

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Of course, it hasn’t been a rerun of Thursday night for Louisville, either. The Cardinals have run into a deeper team that doesn’t panic at the sight of pressure, and the opportunities for easy points have been sparing at best.

So while Terrence Williams has been held in check and Louisville hasn’t done much inside, the Cardinals have gotten plenty from reserve guard Preston Knowles. He has 11 points at the break (as well as a poked eye that set him off and got him a lecture from referee Curtis Shaw).

This thing is far from over, and it still looks a first-to-70-wins affair. Here’s guessing this remains a long (but interesting) slog to the final buzzer.

Patrick Stevens