Michigan State Spartans' Blueprint to Win the 2014 NCAA Tournament

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Michigan State Spartans' Blueprint to Win the 2014 NCAA Tournament
Tony Ding/Associated Press

Michigan State (26-8) is the standard-bearer for the Big Ten nearly every year.

Head coach Tom Izzo wouldn't have it any other way. However, the 2013-14 season has not gone the way the Spartans' legendary coach (one NCAA championship and six Final Four appearances) would have scripted it. Michigan State entered the Big Ten tournament with a 6-7 record in its previous 13 games and looking...well...ordinary.

Michigan State certainly had a recovery in the conference tournament, as it defeated archrival Michigan in the final, but does that mean the Spartans are ready for a long run in the NCAA tournament?

Here's the formula the fourth-seeded Spartans will have to follow from the East bracket. They face the 13th-seeded Delaware Blue Hens (25-9) in the first round, and they will try to string together six NCAA tournament victories to add to Izzo's legacy.

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