Michigan State has made the final four each of the past two season and has made the big dance every year since 1997. However, this season they are on the bubble trying to claw their way to one of the last available seeds in the tournament.
Tonight they will take on Purdue in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament. It is a must win game for the Spartans. If they want to be a part of March Madness then they need a few more quality wins under their belts.
Michigan State is a real sleeper to win the Big Ten tournament, but are a very tough opponent. Purdue is going to have their hands full with the struggling Spartans.
These are the top five reasons why teams do not want to face Michigan State in the Big Ten tournament or March Madness.
The Spartans rotation runs 10 players deep. On their bench they have sharpshooters, like Keith Appling, and key rebounders, like Delvon Roe.
Everybody plays a role and brings something to the table.
Having a solid bench is important in the tournament because your team gets very little time off. Coaches need to rest starters so that they can be ready to go for the next game.
Tom Izzo is lucky to have such great assets on his team coming off the bench.
Draymond Green is a lot to handle. He has a very large build of 6’7” 235 pounds and he uses his size to his advantage.
Green is currently averaging 12.5 points per game along with a team high 8.5 rebounds. He is easily the Spartans best inside player.
He has been criticized for being inconsistent at times, but when he is on, Green is tough to stop. Lately he has been taking a lot more jump shots, but he thrives down low.
If the Spartans want to win a few more games this season, they will need big performances out of Draymond Green.
Coach Tom Izzo is one of the best in the nation. He has a great reputation of preparing his team well for March Madness and has only missed the tournament twice in his 15-year tenure with Michigan State.
Never count a team out that is led by Tom Izzo. His teams always rebound the ball well and play tough defense. Those two things are key once the NCAA tournament rolls around.
The Spartans are led by Kalin Lucas, Draymond Green and Durrell Summers, who have never finished worst than then sweet sixteen in three seasons together.
These three are proven winners and are not afraid of playing in the spotlight. In tournaments, a teams experience usually plays a huge role in how far they go. Michigan State is one of the most experienced teams in the country.
If Michigan State can win a few more games in the Big Ten tournament, I would not want to be the fifth or sixth seed that has to play these guys in the first round. They will have something to prove and be extra motivated.
Kalin Lucas was the Big Ten Player of the Year in 2009 and has had a dominant four year career at Michigan State. He is the team’s leading scorer, averaging 16.8 points per game.
Just four days ago Lucas was named Michigan State’s most valuable player for the third straight year.
He is the guy that hits the big shots for the Spartans. The Spartans will go as far as Kalin Lucas can carry them.