2014 NCAA Tournament Profile: Big Ten Champion Michigan State Spartans

Michigan State

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Record: 26-8

RPI: 21

BPI: 11

Conference: Big 10 Conference

How They Qualified: Big Ten Conference Tournament Champions

Region: No. 4 seed in the East

 

At full strength Michigan State is almost unbeatable. Thanks a lot North Carolina, is what the Spartans should be saying. Tom Izzo‘s group lost to the Tar Heels at full strength.

The Spartans have a very experienced team and their seniors have stepped up in a big way this year. Keith Appling and Adreian Payne are both putting up 10+ points per game.

Michigan State entered the season as a favorite to make the Final Four and it will enter the 2014 NCAA tournament the same way.

 

What You Need to Know:

Leading Scorer: Gary Harris (17.2 ppg)

Leading Rebounder: Branden Dawson (8.3 rpg)

Leading Passer: Keith Appling (4.7 apg)

Bad Losses: Illinois, Georgetown  

Good Wins: Michigan, Wisconsin

 

As you can see, Gary Harris is the leading scorer of this team, but Payne and Appling are also very reliable in that department. All three can shoot the long-ball as well. Harris is shooting 35.5 percent from behind the arc and Payne and Appling are both shooting at a higher rate from that same distance.

Veteran basketball teams are very hard to beat come NCAA tournament time. Are teams like Michigan State beatable? Of course. However, this is a team that is just as talented as it is experienced which is a very dangerous combo.

With that in mind, it would be a surprise if the Spartans did not at least make it to the Elite Eight, but matchups mean everything this time of the year, so you never know what could happen. Plus, the Big Dance tends to get a little crazy from time to time.

The Michigan State Spartans are dancing!

 

Trevor Lowry is a Senior Writer and Copy Editor at RantSports.com. If you’re a tweeter feel free to follow him @TheTrevorLowry or add him to your network on Google.

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