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NCAA Tournament 2014: 10 Things Michigan State Needs to do to Win it All

10 Things Michigan State Must do to Win it All

Michigan State
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan State Spartans seem to be heavy favorites in this year's NCAA Tournament. While many people question whether this team should be a favorite or not, people have to notice that the Spartans might be the most talented team in the field when they are fully healthy and in rhythm.

Let's take a look at the 10 things Michigan State must to in order to take home its third NCAA title.

10. Stay Out of Foul Trouble

Michigan State
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

10. Stay Out of Foul Trouble

Michigan State
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

It's a fact, the Spartans are know for aggressive play. They are one of the most foul-prone teams in the nation, ranking in about the 130-range out of over 300 teams when it comes to fouls called for per game. Michigan State averaged 19.5 fouls per game in its eight losses this year. No, that's not a coincidence. The Spartans need to stay out of foul trouble.

9. Feed the Post

Michigan State
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

9. Feed the Post

Michigan State
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State, at times, has become extremely reliant on three-point shooting. Even in some wins, the Spartans have drained a high number of threes. However, you live by the three, you also die by it. With talented post men like Branden Dawson and Adreian Payne, Michigan State needs to feed the post. Not many teams will be able to keep up with the physicality.

8. Run the Floor

Michigan State
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

8. Run the Floor

Michigan State
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

When the Spartans play their game, they are almost unbeatable. Tom Izzo loves his team to run the fast break and it will need to do so for the next few weeks to wear teams down. Steals usually lead to the fast break and Michigan State averages just 4.9 in its losses this season -- defense goes along with this category.

7. Give Gary Harris the Green Light

Michigan State
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

7. Give Gary Harris the Green Light

Michigan State
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

When Gary Harris is shooting his best, there might not be anyone who can stop him. Watch out for a solid shooting performance, because the Spartans are scary when he's on top of his game. He's at his best when he gains confidence by knocking down some threes from the wing.

6. Get Keith Appling Some Shots

Michigan State
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

6. Get Keith Appling Some Shots

Michigan State
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

There's no way around it: Keith Appling is struggling to find his shot. Since hurting his wrist a couple months ago, Appling has seen his numbers drop dramatically -- particularly his shooting percentage. Keith can be a solid three-point shooter like he was before the injury if he gains some confidence back. Getting him extra shots could be the difference in a Final Four run and a Sweet 16 failure.

5. Limit Turnovers

Michigan State
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

5. Limit Turnovers

Michigan State
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State turns the ball over at a relatively low rate for an Izzo team this year and they will need to continue that in order to have success in the tourney. In losses, the Spartans turn the ball over nearly 13 times, but in wins, that number is closer to 11. It may not seem like a lot, but one or two careless turnovers can be the difference in a game.

4. Get the Chemistry Back

Michigan State
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

4. Get the Chemistry Back

Michigan State
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The chemistry was once at an all-time high, but has since wavered a bit due to injuries and lack of a consistent lineup. Now that the starters are in place for good -- knock on wood -- it looks like they are all starting to gel more. This team is very closely-knit off the court, but it needs to start showing that on the court as well.

3. Avoid Media Hype

Michigan State
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

3. Avoid Media Hype

Michigan State
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

I know this one is almost impossible, so I am going to re-word it. I would say not letting media hype get to their head would be the best possible scenario. Just about everyone and their daughter has picked either Michigan State, Louisville or Florida to win it all.

That's the last thing Michigan State needs. Don't worry about everyone else telling you how great you are -- just prove it to yourself.

2. Stay Healthy

Michigan State
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

2. Stay Healthy

Michigan State
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

If Michigan State stays healthy, keyword is 'if', the Spartans are the best team in the nation. While Florida is arguably up there with Michigan State, the Spartans might have the most talented starting five out there.

Let's hope the training staff can keep these guys healthy because, when they aren't, they are not nearly as effective.

1. Trust Tom Izzo

Michigan State
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

1. Trust Tom Izzo

Michigan State
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Izzo is Mr. March. Michigan State has made the Tournament for 17 straight seasons and Izzo has a winning percentage of over 70 percent in the NCAA Tournament. Every four-year player to play under Izzo has made at least one Final Four. That is a respectable record in itself. It's time to start trusting Izzo and the players need to trust him even more than the fans.

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 connor.muldowney@rantsports.com.