Three years later, Dawson gets shot at Cards

After missing the teams' meeting in the 2012 Sweet 16, Dawson will get his chance at Louisville with a Final Four berth on the line.

When Michigan State meets Louisville on Sunday, the scene will be a lot different than it was three years ago for Branden Dawson when the Spartans and Cardinals met in the NCAA Tournament.

Back then, in March 2012, the then-Michigan State freshman was sitting in his dorm room in East Lansing as the Spartans lost to Louisville 57-44 in the Sweet 16. An ACL tear suffered in the regular-season finale against Ohio State had him out for the season, left on crutches and by himself to watch the game as his team saw its season end.

“I was in the dorm, by myself, watching the game,” Dawson said. “It was hard sitting there and not being able to play.”

It was a tough loss for the Spartans, who entered the tournament as a No. 1 seed with a share of the Big Ten title and the Big Ten Tournament title to their name.

>”I was talking with Draymond (Green) and he said if I woulda played that game, we woulda went to the Final Four,” Dawson said.

As it went, Green saw his college career come to an end and Dawson went on to have surgery in May to repair his knee. Now, it is his senior year and again the path to the Final Four meets Louisville.

”I feel great,” Dawson said. “I’m blessed and thankful and appreciative to be in the position I am now.”

So while he did not get the chance to play them three years ago, he gets his shot as the No. 7 seed Spartans square off with the No. 4 Cardinals.

“It will be great for myself and being to play against these guys for the first time,” he said.

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