2014 NCAA Tournament: Michigan State’s 5 Most Important Players

Michigan State's 5 Most Important Players

Michigan State
Getty Images

Michigan State entered the season as the odds-on Big Ten favorite but struggled at times during the season, eventually losing out on the regular season Big Ten title to in-state rival Michigan. The Spartans turned it around and put on a show in the Big Ten tournament. Here are five reasons why you can expect Michigan State's success to continue deep into March.

5. Travis Trice

Michigan State
Getty Images

5. Travis Trice

Travis Trice
Getty Images

Trice, the Spartans' sixth man, must continue to pack a scoring punch off the bench. If he is knocking down shots, Michigan State is all of a sudden that much more dangerous.

4. Branden Dawson

Branden Dawson
Getty Images

4. Branden Dawson

Branden Dawson
Getty Images

Branden Dawson might just be the best rebounding guard in the country. At 8.2 boards per game, he is the Spartans' leading rebounder, averaging more than big man Adreian Payne. Dawson takes care of business offensively as well (10.3 points per game).

3. Keith Appling

Keith Appling
Getty Images

3. Keith Appling

Keith Appling
Getty Images

The Spartans' senior point guard is one of the team's emotional leaders. Although he has been hampered with injuries this season and throughout his career, Appling leads the team in assists and is a double digit scorer.

2. Adreian Payne

Adreian Payne
Getty Images

2. Adreian Payne

Adreian Payne
Getty Images

Payne, the Spartans' senior big man, is a beast in the paint. He plays solid defense and is Michigan State's major scoring threat down low, averaging nearly 16 points per game.

1. Gary Harris

Gary Harris
Getty Images

1. Gary Harris

Gary Harris
Getty Images

The Spartans' star sophomore guard has serious NBA potential. He is a very reliable from long distance and can take it to the basket when necessary. Harris is also the team's leading scorer at 17.1 points per game. He has the kind of special talent that can carry the Spartans to the promised land.

Around the Web