The Michigan State Spartans' quest for a 2014 national championship ended the moment that they lost in the 2013 Sweet 16 to the Duke Blue Devils.
As usual, the Spartans are expected to be one of the Big Ten's upper-echelon programs this season. With a lofty No. 1 preseason ranking, according to ESPN's Seth Greenberg, Michigan State certainly has pressure to make a run for glory.
With Adreian Payne sticking around for another year, Spartans coach Tom Izzo has an elite-level big to complement scoring machine Gary Harris, who opted to stay in East Lansing for his sophomore session.
Factor in Keith Appling and Branden Dawson, and Izzo has a sturdy foursome to rely upon during the upcoming gauntlet.
There are important areas to focus on between now and tipoff 2013-14. We'll highlight those areas in this slideshow.