INDIANAPOLIS - As far as storylines go, Michigan State playing the 2009 Final Four in Detroit dedicated to all of the hardworking people in the Great Lakes State struggling to make end's meat in a drawn out recession is tough to top.
One year later, Michigan State is not concerned with storylines. When sophomore captain Draymond Green was asked after practice on Tuesday if he could step back and appreciate the Butler story, the Spartan power forward was blunt in his response.
"No," answered Green. "We are trying to win a national championship right now."
Green is only in his second year at Michigan State, but the pride of Saginaw High is preparing to play in his 11th NCAA tournament game. Green's tournament experience and his drive to win has him dialed in like a senior this week.
"Your first year getting there is kind of like feeling it out, feeling your way through everything and getting over the excitement of everything," explained Green. "We're back now and I am not really feeling that excitement any more. We felt that excitement already."
Green's classmate Delvon Roe is playing with a torn meniscus and every movement he makes is pain filled. Roe has overcome a lot of pain and gone through extensive treatment to be able to play in the NCAA Tournament. That pain would be more worthwhile for Roe if the pay off was a national championship.
"There is no rest that you can do to make it feel better," said Roe his injury. "It is always going to be there unless you have the surgery. The surgery is going to be out of the ordinary for me to get right now. I have to go out there with the mindset that I know it is going to hurt, that I have to deal with it, and I have to do whatever I can to get a championship."
Both players are confident in that their coaches will have them prepared for anything that Butler will run against them. Green says that if Butler runs it, Michigan State will have it scouted and be prepared to face it unless Butler puts wrinkles they have not show before.
"We believe in ourselves, but our coaches give us more confidence because they always have us prepared," said Green. "We know everything that the opposing team is going to run, every set they are going to run we know it unless they put it in the day before the game. That gives you a lot of confidence when you are coming onto the court."
Roe will undergo surgery to repair the meniscus tear the week after next.
Both Roe and junior Chris Allen practiced on Wednesday and Thursday.