Thursday and Friday marked arguably the two most exciting days of all of sports. Sixteen games a day, spanning 12 hours, captivates the country with fans breathing sighs of relief when a team advances or lighting their paper brackets on fire when their national champion bows out in the first round. The Detroit Free-Press
focused on both Michigan and Michigan State, two teams who could potentially win the national championship.
Michigan opened the tournament against South Dakota State and was a fairly popular upset pick. The Wolverines took care of business, winning 71-56
, but did so in an unusual way. Instead of relying on Naismith Award finalist Trey Burke, freshman Tim Hardaway, Jr., led the team with a career high 21 points. In the round of 32, Michigan obliterated VCU 78-53
, reaching the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 1994. The victory was so convincing, Dick Vitale said the Wolverines were playing like the number one team in the nation again.
The higher ranked Michigan State also managed to make it to the Sweet Sixteen. The Spartans first took on Valparaiso in the first tournament game overall, winning 65-54
. In the second game of the tournament for the Spartans, Michigan State defeated Memphis handedly, 70-48
. The win gave coach Tom Izzo his 11th Sweet Sixteen appearance in 16 tournaments.
As for the Free-Press's coverage, it was extremely well done. For each game, there was a live blog
, where fans could follow along live with the Free-Press. In addition, fans could ask questions or give their own comments that others could see in the live stream. This led to interaction between other fans and the beat writer for each team. Also, each post game story had video of the Free-Press breaking down the game and giving important analysis.
Overall, I feel like the Free-Press did a great job with covering two teams in the national tournament. Each team got analysis before and after each game. Each game had a live blog for fans to follow along. Both print and video is being used in the stories. While the Free-Press may not be the go-to site for March Madness coverage, if I were a fan of either team, this would be my first stop.