Spartans will: Michigan State Looks to Continue Magical Run


It comes as a bit of a surprise that Michigan State has reached the Final Four for the seventh time under head coach, Tom Izzo. About six weeks ago, this Spartan team looked dead in the water and their chances of making the NCAA Tournament were looking slim.

They team had trouble finding consistency and did not look like the Michigan State people were accustomed to seeing. Some players were dealing with nagging injuries while others were just out of sync.

But where there’s an Izzo, there’s a way. It seems after losing to Wisconsin, 80-69, in the Big Ten tournament title game, a fire was lit under them and being labeled an “underdog” in the NCAA Tournament was the fuel.

The team earned a seven seed going into the tournament but played like a one seed. They knocked off Georgia in the first round, surprised a lot of people by taking down a highly favored Virginia team. After advancing to their seventh Sweet 16 in eight years, the Spartans continued to flourish, grinding out a win against Oklahoma.

From there it was already a great season, an up and down season led to an Elite 8 appearance during a “down year.” Well, the Elite 8 was not good enough for MSU, they continued to surprise their fans and the nation when they knocked off a tough team, Louisville, 76-70 in overtime.

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Part of the reason the team has played like they have, has been because of senior guard, Travis Trice. During their tournament run he has averaged 19.8 points and has been the catalyst for early MSU runs and late second half comebacks.

Trice’s impressive line of work has caught the attention of a lot of people in the tournament, including their opponent in the Final Four. Duke head coach, Mike Krzyzewski has called Trice “the best player in the tournament” and that his “cockiness” and “confidence” makes him a tough player to defend.

While the team’s crazy journey to the Final Four is complete, their road to a national championship continues.

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Simply reaching the Final Four isn’t good enough for MSU, they want to win. Sure getting to one of the grandest stages in college basketball is a plus for any school but winning on one of the biggest stages would be even better.  This year’s team really wants to win and help their legacy.

Tonight, Michigan State will take on the Duke Blue Devils.  It’s a battle of two of the best coaches and teams in college basketball, Tom Izzo and Mike Krzyzewski.

Krzyzewski has gotten the best of Izzo, bolstering an 8-1 record against his friend.

But those numbers don’t intimidate Izzo or any of his players, especially guard Denzel Valentine.

“Just because they’re Duke and they’re McDonald’s All-Americans doesn’t mean we can’t play.” Valentine said according to the Detroit News. “We work hard just like them. We have no fear.  I hold no grudges, I just want to win the national championship.”

Handing out another upset, won’t be easy. The Blue Devils are young but a strapped with one of the best, if not the best player in college basketball, Jahlil Okafor. Defending Okafor and the rest of Duke will be challenging but the advantage Michigan State has is experience. If Trice, Valentine, Dawson and the rest of the guys can use their experience, hit jump shots and limit mistakes, it would not be crazy to see them in the championship game.

Michigan State has been doing the impossible all season, after a 13-7 start this team has done a complete 180 when nobody expected them to.

It’s been 15 years since Michigan State has won a national championship and nothing will satisfy him more than defeating his friend and getting one game closer to what’s he’s been chasing after for so long.

Tip-off is scheduled for 6:09 P.M./EST on TBS.