|Valparaiso||R Broekhoff 15.9||R Broekhoff 7.3||E Buggs 3.7|
|Michigan State||K Appling 13.6||A Payne 7.5||K Appling 3.5|
No. 3-seeded Michigan State battles 14th-seeded Valparaiso in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at The Palace of Auburn Hills on Thursday. Tipoff is at 12:15 p.m. ET and it can be seen on CBS. The Spartans defeated the Crusaders 90-60 the last time they met (Nov. 22, 2009).
In their last game on Mar. 16, Derrick Nix put up 17 points and nine rebounds for the Spartans in a loss to Ohio State, 61-58. He tallies 9.5 points per game and also adds 6.2 rebounds per game. In a 62-54 victory over Wright State on Mar. 12, Erik Buggs put up 22 points for the Crusaders. He leads the team in assists with 3.7 per game and steals with 1.5 per game. Valparaiso will hope to exploit their strengths, which include: effective field goal percentage at 56.4 and free throw rate at 42.5.
- The Big Ten has had four more Final Four teams than the Horizon over the past 10 years.
- Since 1998, Michigan State has recruited more Top 10 high school players than Valparaiso (six vs. zero).
- The Big Ten performed much better in non-conference close games than the Horizon (70.8 percent vs. 50.0 percent).
- The Big Ten has a much better non-conference game winning percentage than the Horizon (78.5 percent vs. 57.9 percent).
- The Big Ten has had 26 more NBA Draft picks than the Horizon over the past 10 years.
- Michigan State embarrassed Valparaiso by 30 points the last time they played (Nov 22, 2009).
- Diaper Dandies love Michigan State. Michigan State has recruited more McDonald's All-Americans out of high school than Valparaiso (15 vs. 0).
- Michigan State has a stronger schedule than Valparaiso this season (SOS Rank: No. 4 vs. No. 178).
- The Big Ten had more close games in conference (so the games are more exciting to watch) than in the Horizon.
- Michigan State has more wins over the last 5 years than Valparaiso (158 vs. 117).
- The Michigan State blocks leader (Adreian Payne, 36 blocks) has more blocks than the Valparaiso blocks leader (Ryan Broekhoff, 26 blocks).
|C+||Kevin Van Wijk||23||13||5||1||1||1||2|