2014 NCAA Tournament Preview: No. 4 Michigan State vs. No. 13 Delaware
While the Michigan State Spartans struggled for most of the final month of the regular season, they finally got healthy before the Big Ten Tournament and gelled in time to become tournament champs. On the other side of things, the Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens ran away with the regular season and Colonial Conference Tournament title.
One of these teams has been hot all season long while the other is getting hot at the right time. Delaware and Michigan State both have similar record as the Spartans are 26-8 while the Fightin’ Blue Hens are a solid 25-9.
Michigan State will probably be Delaware’s toughest game of the season thus far while the Spartans cannot say the same in return.
What to watch for
The Fightin’ Blue Hens are led by three top scorers from the Colonial Conference in Devon Saddler, Davon Usher and Jarvis Threatt. The three-headed monster combines to average 57.2 points per game as well as 16.2 rebounds and 11.0 assists while all three shoot over 40 percent from the field. All three are upperclassmen as Saddler and Usher are the two seniors.
Michigan State features one of the most talented starting fives in the nation. When healthy, this team is incredibly tough to beat and Brandon Dawson is a matchup nightmare. Although Gary Harris, Adreian Payne and Keith Appling lead the team in scoring, Dawson is my player to watch. The forward stands just 6-foot-6, but his 10.2 points and 8.3 rebounds coupled with his incredible vertical and athleticism will be tough to guard.
While Delaware has had a nice run this season, the Spartans will cut it short because of the fact that they are finally healthy. Before the season, Michigan State was my favorite to make it to the Final Four, and now that it is gelling at the perfect time, that pick remains true.
Michigan State’s athleticism will be too much for the Fightin’ Blue Hens and all three top scorers for Delaware will have trouble finding an easy basket. Advantage: MSU.
Tom Izzo remains Mr. March.
Delaware 54, Michigan State 71
Connor Muldowney is the Content Associate for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at email@example.com.