The Athletic Reporter
September 12, 2005 Sports News the Way You Want It. Completely Made Up. Issue 127
 
Michigan State Deprives Nation's Basketball Fans of Weekend Full of Ashley Judd Cutaway Shots
Originally posted 3/29/2005

How could you, Michigan State? HOW COULD YOU???
AUSTIN, TX - The Michigan State defeated the Kentucky 94-88 in a memorable double-overtime game Sunday to earn a trip to the Final Four, the school's fourth in the last seven seasons. More notably, however, coach Tom Izzo's Spartans deprived the nation's college basketball fans of the possibility of Final Four cutaway shots of Kentucky fan Ashley Judd.

Judd, a Hollywood movie star and ardent Kentucky basketball fan, routinely attends Wildcats games, and the network broadcasting the game routinely cuts away to show Judd, usually wearing a tight University of Kentucky basketball t-shirt, jumping, bouncing or otherwise celebrating Kentucky's fortunes.

"I don't know how Michigan State could do this too us," said college basketball fan and Ohio State alum Nathan Holley, 28, of Akron. "My school wasn't even in the tournament this year, so pretty much all I had to look forward to was those shots of Ashley Judd during Kentucky games. I suppose there's a chance we might see some footage of Magic Johnson in the crowd when Michigan State plays, but, that's not really the same. At all."

A miracle three-point buzzer beater by Kentucky's Patrick Sparks at the end of regulation tied the game and kept the nation's Ashley Judd cutaway shots hope alive, but Michigan State prevailed in double-overtime to deny any Ashley Judd cutaway chances until next season.

"It was a tough decision we had," Izzo said after the game. "We didn't know whether to try and beat Kentucky, or to lose on purpose and give up a trip to the Final Four so we could see some more of Ashley Judd. We ended up taking a team vote, and, 'Try to Beat Kentucky' ended up winning. By one vote. On the ninth ballot."

"This was a rough one for our boys," said Kentucky coach Tubby Smith. "They played their hearts out. I feel terrible for them, especially the seniors. Now they won't realize their dream of playing in the Final Four. What's worse, they probably won't ever get another chance to see Ashley Judd in person in one of those little t-shirts. You've got to feel for them, really."

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