Biggest Challenges Michigan State Faces in NCAA Tourney Matchup vs. Virginia

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Biggest Challenges Michigan State Faces in NCAA Tourney Matchup vs. Virginia
Young Kwak/Associated Press

The Spartans are the fourth-seeded team in the East Regional, but the heat will be squarely on the shoulders of Tom Izzo's team as it gets set to face top-seeded Virginia at Madison Square Garden.

That may not seem logical based on Michigan State's indifferent play down the stretch in the Big Ten regular season, but the Spartans brought their game to a new level during the Big Ten tournament and continued to produce in their first two games of the NCAA tournament.

Michigan State (28-8) also attracted a lot of attention at the start of the tournament because so many basketball experts—and President Barack Obama—picked them to get to the Final Four and potentially win the tournament.

That creates additional pressure, and it also may provide some inspiration for a very strong Virginia (30-6) team.

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