Spartans Make Sixth Final Four Appearance In Last 12 Years
Michigan State plays Butler Saturday night at 6:07 p.m.
March 31, 2010
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
2010 NCAA Tournament - Final Four
No. 5 Michigan State (28-8)
vs. No. 5 Butler (32-4)
April 3, 2010
6:07 p.m. EDT
Lucas Oil Stadium
Radio: Spartan Sports Network - Will Tieman (Play by Play),
Gus Ganakas and Matt Steigenga (Color), Adam Ruff (Host)
Flagship - WJIM 1240 AM/WMMQ 94.9 FM;
TV: CBS - Jim Nantz (Play by Play), Clark Kellogg (Color)
The Opening Tip
On the 10-year anniversary of the 2000 National Championship game, the Spartans will face hometown Butler in the first-ever meeting of No. 5 seeds in the Final Four. Michigan State is making its nation-leading sixth Final Four appearance in the last 12 years. The Spartans have been tested through their first four NCAA Tournament games, posting a total margin of victory of 13 points.
The Starting Five
1. Six Final Fours in 12 Years
Michigan State is making its nation's-best sixth trip to the Final Four in the last 12 years, all under head coach Tom Izzo. MSU is the fourth team to appear in six Final Fours in any 12-year span, and just the third since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. Coach Izzo and Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski are the only two coaches to lead their teams to six Final Fours in a 12-year span since the tournament expansion. Overall, the Spartans are making their eighth appearance in a Final Four (1957, 1979, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2010), tied for the seventh-most all-time. MSU is 5-6 in Final Four action, having won the national title in 1979 and 2000.
2. Izzo's Recruiting Promise
Every four-year player recruited by Tom Izzo has appeared in at least one Final Four before leaving Michigan State. In total, 55 Spartan student-athletes have been part of a Final Four squad.
3. Izzo And The Final Four
Tom Izzo's six Final Four appearances rank tied for fifth all-time and is also third among active coaches, trailing only Mike Krzyzewski (12) and Roy Williams (7). Izzo is now first among Big Ten coaches, breaking a tie with Bob Knight (5). In addition, he is one of four coaches to take the same school to six Final Fours, joining Krzyzewski, Dean Smith and John Wooden.
4. By The Slimmest Of Margins
Michigan State advanced to the Final Four with a total margin of victory of only 13 points in its four NCAA Tournament games (3.25 per game). The margin is the lowest in NCAA history by a Final Four team since the tournament was expanded to 64 teams in 1985. The previous record was held by the 1995 Arkansas team that won by 15 points. In comparison, the Spartans have had a much tighter run than the other three teams in the Final Four - Butler (41), West Virginia (46) and Duke (74). In MSU's previous five Final Fours since the expansion, the lowest margin was 35 points in 2005.
5. Big Ten In The Final Four
The Big Ten has been well represented over the past 12 years in the Final Four. The Big Ten and ACC lead the nation with 11 teams in the Final Four since 1999, followed by the BIG EAST with seven, Big 12 with six, and the Pac-10 and SEC with four trips.
MSU vs. Butler
The Bulldogs are making their first Final Four appearance in school history in their 10th NCAA Tournament trip. The Bulldogs enter Saturday's game with a nation-leading 24-game winning streak. Their 32 victories this season are school and Horizon League records. Butler went 18-0 in league play and is the only unbeaten conference champ in Division I this season.
Butler vs. The Field of 65
In six games this season against teams that made this year's NCAA Tournament, Butler posted a 3-3 mark. The Bulldogs defeated Ohio State, Xavier and Siena but fell to Minnesota, Clemson and Georgetown.
The Spartans and Bulldogs share three common opponents, all from the Big Ten - Northwestern, Minnesota and Ohio State. Butler won at Northwestern, 67-54, on Nov. 18 and defeated then-No. 13/15 Ohio State, 74-66, on Dec. 12. The Bulldogs fell to Minnesota, 82-73, on Nov. 26 at the 76 Classic in Anaheim, Calif.
Michigan State is 13-10 all-time against Butler. The last meeting between the schools came on Dec. 20, 1971 in Indianapolis where the Spartans defeated the Bulldogs, 77-71.
Brad Stevens (DePauw University, `99) is in his third year as a head coach and holds an all-time record of 88-14. Stevens has led his team to NCAA Tournament appearances in all three seasons as head coach where he is 5-2. Prior to being named head coach, Stevens served as an assistant at Butler from 2001-07 where he became the only assistant coach in Butler basketball history to help the Bulldogs to two NCAA Sweet 16 appearances. Stevens became the first men's basketball coach in Butler history to lead the Bulldogs to 30 wins in a season when he did it in his first season (2007-08). He is a two-time Horizon League Coach of the Year. Stevens has won the most games in Division I history over his first three seasons.
The Bulldogs made their fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament this season and their seventh appearance in the past decade ... Butler went 18-0 in league play and captured the Horizon League Tournament Championship with a 70-45 win over Wright State in the title game ... Junior forward Matt Howard (11.8 ppg), sophomore forward Gordon Hayward (15.5 ppg) and sophomore guard Shelvin Mack (14.2 ppg) all garnered First-Team All-Horizon League honors ... Howard became the 32nd Butler player to score 1,000 career points earlier this season and now has 1,316 points which ranks 17th-most in school history ... Senior Willie Veasley is the most experienced Bulldog as he has played in a Butler-record nine NCAA Tournament games ... Butler's 117 wins over the past four seasons have set a school and Horizon League record for most wins in four consecutive years ... Butler is 27-4 when Shelvin Mack scores at least 14 points in a game.
Notes From The 2010 Tournament
* Durrell Summers, the Most Outstanding Player of the Midwest Regional, led the Spartans offensively, averaging 20.0 points, while shooting 55.6% (30-56) from the field, including 53.3% (16-30) from behind the arc. His 20.0 points per game is the best among the Final Four teams and is third among players to play four NCAA Tournament games this season.
* Summers' 4.0 3-point field goals made per game are best among the Final Four teams. He has emerged from behind the arc in the four NCAA games, having hit only 26 trays in 32 games entering the tournament (0.8 per game).
* Draymond Green was named All-Midwest Region, leading the Spartans with 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.8 blocks per game, while also adding 8.0 points.
* Michigan State is the fifth team since the tournament expanded in 1985 to advance to the Final Four with a one-point victory in the Regional Final (1987 Indiana, 1990 Duke, 1992 Duke and 2005 Illinois). Each of the previous four schools advanced to the national championship game.
* MSU has won its four games by a combined 13 points (3.25 per game), the lowest total margin of victory to reach the Final Four since the tournament expanded in 1985.
* Saturday will be the first meeting between two No. 5 seeds in the Final Four and will be only the third game between teams ranked fifth or lower in the Final Four.
* 11 different Spartans are averaging 4.5 minutes per game or more in tournament play.
* MSU is shooting .736 from the foul line, after entering the tournament shooting .681.
* MSU is averaging 7.5 3-pointers per game and making 41.1% from behind the arc, after hitting 4.8 per game and making only 33.3% entering the tournament.
* Among the Final Four schools, the Spartans lead in 3-point field goal percentage (.411), 3-point field goals made (7.5), blocks (5.0) and assists (15.3).
* Korie Lucious has improved his production in the NCAA Tournament, averaging 8.5 points in the four games, compared to 5.0 points in his first 31 games. His playing time has increased to 29.3 minutes per game in the tournament from 21.6 mpg before the NCAAs began.
Elite Eight - MSU 70 - Tennessee 69
* Raymar Morgan hit the game-winning free throw with 1.8 seconds left to give MSU the 70-69 victory.
* Durrell Summers led the Spartans with 21 points in the regional final, going 8-for-10 from the floor with four 3-pointers. Summers has scored in double-figures in seven straight NCAA Tournament games, averaging 16.4 points in those games.
* Summers was named the Midwest Region Most Outstanding Player and was joined on the All-Region Team by Draymond Green.
* Morgan recorded his 13th career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds (MSU's record is 13-0 in those games). It was his first career double-double in the NCAA Tournament. His 10 rebounds were also an NCAA Tournament high for Morgan.
* MSU's eight blocks tied the school's NCAA Tournament record and also tied its season high (Nov. 22 vs. Valparaiso).
* Korie Lucious swiped a career-high five steals, tying the most by a Spartan this season and tying the MSU NCAA Tournament single-game mark.
* Tennessee is the first Spartan opponent to shoot over 50% from the field in an MSU win. UT shot 24-of-47 (51.1%).
* Tennessee started the game 6-for-6 from 3-point range, but missed nine of its next 10 attempts to finish 7-for-16 for the game.
* Tom Izzo improved to 6-1 in Elite Eight games.
Sweet 16 - MSU 59 - Northern Iowa 52
* MSU allowed just 52 points against Northern Iowa, the fewest MSU has given up in an NCAA Tournament game since Marquette in the 2007 first round (49).
* The 59 points scored by MSU are the fewest by the Spartans in an NCAA Tournament win since they beat Wisconsin in the 2000 Final Four, 53-49.
* In the first half, Michigan State shot just 31.8 percent, while Northern Iowa shot 52.2 percent from the floor. It was flipped in the second half, as the Spartans shot 54.5 percent in the second half, compared to just 23.8 percent for the Panthers.
* Michigan State was out-rebounded 16-10 in the first half, but dominated the glass by a 22-10 margin in the second half.
* Despite playing with a torn meniscus in his right knee, Delvon Roe played 27 minutes, the most he's played since Dec. 7 at The Citadel (31). Roe contributed six points and five rebounds, hitting both field goals and both free throws he attempted.
* With Northern Iowa in the lead, 46-44, Durrell Summers hit a 3-pointer at the 7:27 mark to give MSU the 47-46 advantage. MSU did not trail the rest of the game.
* In his first career NCAA Tournament start, Korie Lucious scored 10 points, collected career high in rebounds (6) and steals (4), and dished out four assists in a career-high 39 minutes. His acrobatic, turnaround jumper with 1:31 remaining gave MSU a four-point lead at 55-51.
* MSU did not allow UNI to score a field goal over the final 10:20 of the contest.
* Tom Izzo improved to 7-2 in the Sweet 16.
Second Round - MSU 85 - Maryland 83
* The game featured just six lead changes, four of which came in the game's final 40 seconds, capped by Korie Lucious' game-winning 3-pointer as time expired.
* Durrell Summers equaled his career high and established a season high with 26 points.
* Michigan State held a 14-0 advantage in fast break points.
* Derrick Nix's 15 minutes were the most he'd played since the second game of the season.
* Michigan State improved to 15-3 in the second game of an NCAA Tournament weekend under Tom Izzo.
* Michigan State's 85 points were its most in an NCAA Tournament game since scoring 94 against Kentucky (2OT) in the 2005 regional final, and the most in a regulation tournament game since scoring 89 against Old Dominion in the 2005 first round.
* Michigan State's 10 made 3-pointers were its third highest total of the season, and tied the third-best effort ever by a Spartan team in the NCAA Tournament.
* Michigan State's 55.2 field-goal percentage was its best in an NCAA Tournament game since shooting 56.9 percent against Old Dominion in the 2005 first round.
* Tom Izzo improved to 9-1 in NCAA Tournament second round games.
First Round - MSU 70 - New Mexico St. 67
* Kalin Lucas scored a career-high 25 points. Lucas hit 7-of-11 shots after hitting 18-of-55 in his previous five games.
* Lucas' 25 points were the most by a Spartan in the NCAA Tournament since Drew Neitzel scored 26 against North Carolina in the second round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament.
* MSU improved to 15-5 in first round games since 1985, including 10-3 under Tom Izzo.
* Raymar Morgan was limited to six minutes and one field goal attempt in the first half due to foul trouble, but recorded 11 points and four rebounds in 19 second-half minutes.
* Michigan State shot 50 percent in the first half, but just 25.9 percent in the second half.
* Michigan State committed just nine turnovers, including just two in the second half.
* Draymond Green recorded the second double-figure rebounding effort of his NCAA Tournament career, having previously grabbed 10 against Louisville in the 2009 Elite Eight.
* Michigan State hit seven three-pointers, the most by the Spartans in a game since hitting seven against Penn State on Feb. 13.
NCAA Tournament Notes
NCAA Tournament Tested
Michigan State's 2009-10 roster has a combined 114 games worth of NCAA Tournament experience, including eight different players who have started at least one game in NCAA postseason play. Even with the loss of Kalin Lucas, who has 11 career NCAA Tournament starts to his credit, Raymar Morgan (15), Delvon Roe (9), Durrell Summers (4), Korie Lucious (2), Derrick Nix (2) and Chris Allen (1) are responsible for 33 combined starting assignments.
2000 NCAA Champs - 10th Anniversary
The 2010 NCAA Tournament marks the 10th Anniversary of the 2000 National Champion Michigan State Spartans. MSU defeated No. 16 Valparaiso (65-38) and No. 8 Utah (73-61) in the opening weekend. In the Sweet 16, MSU used second-half rallies to beat both No. 4 Syracuse (75-58) and No. 2 Iowa State (75-64). As the lone No. 1 seed at the Final Four at Indianapolis' RCA Dome, MSU defeated No. 8 Wisconsin (53-41) and No. 5 Florida (89-76). Mateen Cleaves was named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four, while Charlie Bell, Morris Peterson and A.J. Granger were also on the All-Tournament Team.
MSU's NCAA Streak
Michigan State is making its 13th straight NCAA Tournament appearance in 2010. It is the longest current streak among Big Ten schools and third longest in the nation. Only Kansas (21) and Duke (15) have longer current streaks. It is also the second-longest streak in Big Ten history. Indiana appeared in 18 consecutive tournaments between 1986 and 2003.
Spartans In Indianapolis
Michigan State is 7-0 all-time in NCAA Tournament games in Indianapolis, including 2-0 in the Final Four and 2-0 in Lucas Oil Stadium. Last season, the Spartans advanced to the Final Four through Lucas Oil Stadium, beating No. 3 seed Kansas (67-62) in the Sweet 16 and No. 1 seed Louisville (64-52) in the Elite Eight. In its 2000 National Championship season, MSU topped No. 8 seed Wisconsin (53-41) and No. 5 seed Florida (89-76) at the Indianapolis-hosted Final Four. The 1979 National Championship team played in Indianapolis for the Regional Semifinals and Finals, knocking off No. 3 seed LSU (87-71) and No. 1 seed Notre Dame (80-68), respectively. In their first NCAA game in Indianapolis, the Spartans beat Providence (77-63) in the 1978 first round. In its seven games in Indy, Michigan State's margin of victory is 12.0 points per game.
MSU In The NCAA Tournament
Michigan State is making its 24th appearance in the NCAA Tournament with a record of 52-22. MSU has made eight trips to the Final Four (1957, 1979, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2010) and captured the NCAA Championship in 1979 and 2000.
At His Best When It Counts
Tom Izzo ranks second among active coaches for the best NCAA Tournament winning percentage at .761 (35-11). Duke's Mike Krzyzewski ranks first at .773 (75-22).
MSU In The Midwest Region
Michigan State is making its eighth appearance in the Midwest Region, having advanced to the Final Four for the fourth time. The Spartans advanced to the Final Four in 1999 and 2000 as the No. 1 seed, in 2009 in the No. 2 seed and this season as the No. 5 seed. MSU also played in the Midwest in 1985, 1986, 1992 and 2004.
Izzo's NCAA Streak
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo is making his 13th straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. It's the third longest active streak in the nation, trailing only Mike Krzyzewski and Rick Barnes, each of whom made their 15th straight trip this season. Izzo's streak is the nation's second-longest among coaches at just one school, trailing only Krzyzewski. It's the second-longest streak in Big Ten history behind only Bob Knight's 15-straight appearances (1985-2000).
Final Fours For Active Coaches
With six Final Fours to his credit, Tom Izzo ranks third among active coaches. Mike Krzyzewski leads all active coaches with 11 Final Four appearances, followed by Roy Williams (7).
Durrell Loves The Tourney Lights
Durrell Summers has scored in double figures in seven straight NCAA Tournament games, including scoring a career-best tying 26 points against Maryland in the 2010 second round. Summers is averaging 16.4 points in the last seven tournament games, and 11.3 points in 13 career tournament games, shooting .541 from the field, including .481 from 3-point range. He is MSU's leading scorer in the tournament this year, scoring 20.0 points per game, shooting .556 from the field and .533 from 3-point range.
Spartan Opponents In NCAA Tournament
Nine of Michigan State's regular-season opponents made the field of 65 for the 2010 NCAA Tournament, including Big Ten foes Minnesota, Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin and non-conference opponents Florida, Gonzaga, Oakland, Texas and Wofford. The Spartans were a combined 7-6 against the nine teams.
Brilliant Under Short Rest
Under head coach Tom Izzo, Michigan State has a spectacular 16-3 record in the second game of a weekend in NCAA Tournament play. The Spartans' only three losses have come when playing a No. 1 seed.
MSU As A No. 5 Seed
This is the sixth time in school history that Michigan State has been the No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament. MSU is 14-5 as a No. 5 seed, including two trips to the Final Four and four trips to the Sweet 16. In 1986, MSU defeated No. 12 Washington (72-70) and No. 4 Georgetown before falling to No. 1 Kansas (96-86, OT). The Spartans were the No. 5 seed in back-to-back seasons in 1991 and 1992. In 1991, MSU defeated No. 12 UW-Green Bay (60-58), but lost to No. 4 Utah in double overtime (85-84). One year later, MSU defeated No. 12 Southwest Missouri State (61-54) before falling to No. 4 Cincinnati (72-65). MSU advanced all the way to the 2005 Final Four as a No. 5 seed, defeating No. 12 Old Dominion (89-81), No. 13 Vermont (72-61), No. 1 Duke (78-68) and No. 2 Kentucky (94-88, 2OT), before falling to No. 1 North Carolina (87-71). In 2008, MSU was the No. 5 seed, defeating No. 12 Temple (72-61) and No. 4 Pittsburgh (65-54) in Denver, before falling to No. 1 Memphis (92-74) in the Sweet 16. This season, MSU has defeated No. 12 New Mexico State (70-67) and No. 4 Maryland (85-83) in Spokane, before topping No. 9 Northern Iowa (59-52) and No. 6 Tennessee (70-69).
Michigan State ranks tied for fourth among all schools in NCAA Tournament winning percentage for teams with at least 20 tournament games. MSU's .703 winning percentage (52-22) trails only Duke (.754, 92-30), UCLA (.734, 93-34) and North Carolina (.723, 102-39). Florida (.703, 26-11) stands tied with Michigan State. MSU's 52 tournament wins rank ninth in NCAA history and second among Big Ten schools, behind Indiana (60).
Two Titles Not Too Shabby
Michigan State is one of just 14 schools to have won two or more NCAA Championships. Cincinnati, Connecticut, Florida, Louisville, North Carolina State, Oklahoma State and San Francisco join MSU with two titles. Only UCLA (11), Kentucky (7), Indiana (5), North Carolina (5), Kansas (3) and Duke (3) and have won more titles.
MSU Basketball Notes
Green As A Distributor
With 111 assists (3.1 apg), Draymond Green ranks third on the team. The 111 assists are a MSU single-season record for a non-guard, joining Alan Anderson (2003, 104 assists) as the only two non-guards to ever record 100 assists in a single season.
MSU's M*A*S*H Unit
Michigan State advanced to the Final Four despite having more than its fair share of injuries. In addition to Kalin Lucas' season-ending left Achilles injury, his starting backcourt-mate Chris Allen hurt the arch on his right foot against New Mexico State, and has been limited since. Delvon Roe is playing with a torn meniscus in his right knee that will likely require surgery after the season. The injury has caused Roe to miss several practices and limited him to an average of 17.9 minutes over the last six games, although he's averaging 22.8 in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. In addition, Raymar Morgan broke a front tooth in half against Maryland, requiring dental work upon the return to East Lansing.
Lucas Out With Achilles Injury
An MRI conducted Monday, March 22 confirmed that junior guard Kalin Lucas ruptured the Achilles tendon in his left foot during the first half of MSU's NCAA Tournament second round game against Maryland. Recovery time is expected to be 4-6 months and a full and complete recovery is expected. Lucas had surgery on March 30, after postponing it to travel with the team to the Midwest Regional in St. Louis last weekend. He was voted co-Team MVP by his teammates and earned first-team All-Big Ten honors for the second straight year, leading the Spartans in scoring (14.8 ppg), assists (4.0 apg) and minutes (31.1 mpg).
Big Ten Titles Under Coach Izzo
By capturing a share of the 2010 Big Ten Championship, Tom Izzo became just the sixth coach in league history to win six league titles, joining Indiana's Bob Knight, Purdue's Gene Keady and Ward Lambert, Wisconsin's Walter Meanwell and Ohio State's Fred Taylor. He became the first coach to win at least six conference titles in his first 15 seasons since Bob Knight won seven during the same span at Indiana.
Senior Stretch Run
College athletics is full of stories of seniors putting a team on their back down the stretch run of their final season. While Raymar Morgan doesn't need to put the Spartans on his back, his play has gone a long way in determining how successful the end of his career will be. Over the last nine games, Morgan is averaging 14.9 points and 8.3 rebounds, leading the Spartans in both categories. On March 1, he was named co-Big Ten Player of the Week. He is one of 10 finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.
Defense Tightens Up
The Spartans have tightened up their defense during the stretch run. After allowing three straight opponents to shoot better than 50 percent from the field in early February, Michigan State is holding opponents to .404 shooting and 62.4 points in the last 11 games.
Reducing The Turnovers
Turnovers have been an issue for Michigan State for much of the year, especially in Spartan losses. MSU, however, is getting better in that area of the game, committing 10 turnovers or fewer in seven of the last 12 and eight of the last 15 games. MSU is averaging 12.6 turnovers in the last 12 games, including 12.3 turnovers in its four NCAA Tournament games.
Attacking The Offensive Glass
Michigan State is averaging a Big Ten-best 13.3 offensive rebounds per contest, leading to 13.2 second chance points per game. The Spartans are grabbing 40.1 percent of their misses. By comparison, Spartan opponents grab just 28.4 percent of their missed shots. Michigan State grabbed more offensive boards than its opponent had defensive boards in games against Florida, Wofford, The Citadel and Purdue. The Spartans are paced in offensive rebounds by Draymond Green with 2.25 per contest.
It's All About Boardwork
This season, MSU has out-rebounded its opponents by a margin of +8.7, ranking first in the nation (as of March 29), bettering 27 of 36 teams, and tying four. The Spartans are 23-4 when out-rebounding an opponent, but 5-4 when failing to do so. Last season, Michigan State led the nation in rebounding margin at +9.3, marking the third time in the last 10 years the Spartans have paced the nation. Including 2009-10, MSU has led the Big Ten in rebounding margin in 11 of the last 13 years. In the Tom Izzo era, MSU has out-rebounded 396 of 509 opponents (.778), posting a 315-81 (.795) mark in those games.
Big Ten Accolades
Kalin Lucas, Draymond Green and Raymar Morgan each earned some form of All-Big Ten recognition, as announced by the league office on March 8. Lucas earned First-Team All-Big Ten honors for the second straight season, becoming the 13th player in MSU history to be a two-time first-team honoree. Green was a unanimous selection for the Sixth Man of the Year award, and also earned third-team honors. Morgan was a third-team selection, as chosen by the league's coaches.
Sophomore Draymond Green is proving to be one of the most versatile players in the Big Ten and one of the nation's premier sixth men, coming off the bench in 33 of 36 games. He is averaging a team-best 7.8 boards per game, recording double-figure rebounds in 11 games. Further demonstrating his versatility, he ranks first on the team in steals (44), second in blocks (32), third in assists (3.1 apg) and field-goal percentage (.527) and fourth in scoring (9.8 ppg). He's recorded a team-best seven double-doubles on the season. Despite coming off the bench in a majority of the contests, he ranks fifth on the squad in minutes per game (25.4 mpg).
The Sixth Man
Draymond Green was a unanimous selection for Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year, becoming the first Spartan to win the award since its inception in 2006. Not only is he among the best reserves in the Big Ten, but also the nation. He was named National Sixth Man of the Year by Yahoo! Sports. Green has come off the bench in 33 of 36 games, yet he ranks fifth on the squad in minutes played.
Morgan Joins Elite Company
Raymar Morgan is one of just five players in Michigan State history with 1,500 career points and 700 career rebounds. Currently standing at 1,593 points and 767 rebounds, Morgan joins Steve Smith (2,263 pts., 740 reb.), Greg Kelser (2,014 pts., 1092 reb.), Jay Vincent (1,914 pts., 709 reb.) and Paul Davis (1,718 pts., 910 reb.).
MSU In March And Beyond
Michigan State is 60-22 in March since the 1998-99 season. For his career, Tom Izzo is 67-29 in March. Over the last two seasons, MSU is 14-2 in what Coach Izzo calls his favorite month of the year. Izzo is 15-3 at home in March as head coach. MSU is 3-2 all-time in April.
Spartans On The Road
Michigan State and Purdue led the Big Ten with seven conference road wins, while Ohio State ranked third with six. Over the last two seasons, Michigan State is 15-3 away from East Lansing in league play, good for the best two-year road record in school history. In 1997-98 and '98-99, the Spartans were 13-3 on the road. Including neutral site games, MSU is 13-6 away from East Lansing this season.
With its up-tempo style of basketball, it's no surprise that Michigan State is among the most productive offensive teams in the Big Ten. The Spartans currently rank second in the Big Ten in scoring offense at 72.4 points per game. It's a team effort, as just one player (Kalin Lucas, 12th-14.8 ppg) ranks in the top 20 in scoring.
Nine different Spartans are averaging 7.2 minutes or more, including seven at 20.6 minutes or more. Kalin Lucas leads Michigan State with 31.1 minutes per contest after averaging a team-best 31.9 minutes per game last season. The Spartans have also used 19 different starting lineups, as 10 different Spartans have started a game, and no one has started every game. Last season, MSU used 14 different starting lineups, including nine in the first 12 games.
Green Among Best On The Boards
One year after Goran Suton paced the Big Ten in rebounding, another Spartan was among the best on the boards in conference play. Draymond Green finished conference play ranked fourth in the league with 7.6 rebounds per Big Ten contest. He recorded double-figure rebounds in five league games, including a career-high 16 rebounds at Illinois. The 16 boards were the most by any Spartan in a Big Ten game since Andre Hutson grabbed 16 at Penn State in 2001.
Appling Named McDonald's All-American and Mr. Basketball
Keith Appling, who signed his National Letter of Intent to attend Michigan State in November 2009, was named to the 2010 McDonald's All-American Team on Feb. 11. Appling is the ninth McDonald's All-American to sign with Michigan State under Tom Izzo, and the first since 2003. On March 22, he was named the winner of the 2010 Hal Schram Mr. Basketball Award. He is the seventh Mr. Basketball winner in the last 12 years to attend Michigan State, a list that includes former high school teammate and current Spartan freshman Derrick Nix. Appling averaged 28 points, six rebounds and five assists per game for Detroit Pershing High School. The McDonald's All-America game will be played on March 31 at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
Getting To The Foul Line
Michigan State has done a good job getting to the foul line this season, averaging 20.7 attempts per game, including 21.8 attempts in the NCAA Tournament and 18.4 in Big Ten games. In league action, the Spartans averaged 3.2 more free-throw attempts per contest than their opponent.
Morgan On Target
Raymar Morgan led the Big Ten in field-goal percentage in league games, shooting .561 (83-of-148). Throughout the conference, just 11 players hit 50 percent or better in league play.
Turnovers, Defense Make A Difference
Two key factors have emerged as a difference between winning and losing for Michigan State: turnovers and field-goal percentage defense. The Spartans are averaging 15.3 turnovers in their eight losses, including 23 vs. Florida and 22 vs. Texas, leading to 15.9 points for the opponent per game. In 28 wins, MSU is averaging just 13.4 turnovers, leading to just 13.9 opponent points. Defensively, MSU is 21-1 when holding teams below 41 percent shooting, but 7-7 when an opponent shoots above 41 percent. The Spartans are allowing opponents to shoot .492 in their losses, compared to .384 in victory.
Michigan State's bench is averaging 24.5 points per game, including 20.9 points in Big Ten play. On average, MSU's bench out-scored Big Ten opponents' benches by a 20.9-10.7 margin, including a remarkable 27-3 edge in the first meeting with Minnesota. In NCAA Tournament games, the Spartans are averaging 20.8 points and 16.8 rebounds off the bench.
Big Ten Defense
Michigan State's defense was effective in league play, holding opponents to 61.3 points per game, ranking fifth in the Big Ten. MSU's conference opponents shot .411 from the field, ranking third in the league, including .322 from 3-point range, ranking first. Overall, MSU ranks fourth in the Big Ten in field-goal percentage defense (.408).
A Touch Of Green In Big Ten Stats
Overall, Draymond Green ranks third in the Big Ten in rebounding (7.8 rpg), fifth in field-goal percentage (.527) and 11th in steals (1.2 spg). His 1.8 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks fifth in the league, and first among non-guards. He and Ohio State's Evan Turner are the only players in the league 6-foot-6 or taller to average more than three assists per game.
On The Mark
As a team, Michigan State is shooting .472 from the floor, ranking second in the Big Ten and 28th in the nation (as of March 29). In league play, MSU shot .453, ranking fourth. Individually, seven Spartans are connecting on better than 50 percent of their shots, led by Tom Herzog at .818 (9-of-11). Among players with more than 75 attempts, Delvon Roe paces the way at .559 (81-145).
Better At The Foul Line
Michigan State has struggled at the foul line this season, converting at a .688 percentage. The Spartans have hit .706 percent of their attempts in the last 26 games, raising the team's average from .644 to its current mark. Individually, Kalin Lucas ranks 11th in the Big Ten (.772), including .808 in league play, ranking eighth. As a team, MSU shot .705 in conference action, ranking ninth.
Allen Rounds Out His Game
Chris Allen entered Michigan State with the reputation of being a great shooter. Through his first two years, he struggled with consistency, but has elevated his level of play as a junior. Allen leads the squad in 3-point field goals made (53), attempted (133) and percentage (.398). He's also shooting .430 from the floor. His previous career high percentages were .385 from the floor and .360 from 3-point range, both established last season. In league play, Allen ranked fourth in the Big Ten in 3-point field-goal percentage (.431). As his offense improves so has the rest of his game as he is averaging career best in rebounds (2.9 rpg), assists (2.1 apg) and steals (0.5 spg). He's also emerged as MSU's best perimeter defender.
At least one Spartan has recorded a double-double in 17 games, as five different Spartans have posted a double-double. Draymond Green (vs. FGCU, 11 pts., 10 reb.; vs. Florida, 15 pts., 11 reb.; vs. Oakland, 19 pts., 12 reb.; vs. Iowa, 14 pts., 11 reb.; vs. Illinois, 17 pts., 16 reb.; vs. Purdue, 12 pts., 11 reb.; vs. Minnesota, 10 pts., 11 reb.) leads the way with seven, while Raymar Morgan (vs. Wofford, 19 pts., 11 reb.; vs. The Citadel, 11 pts., 10 reb., vs. Illinois, 14 pts., 10 reb.; vs. Purdue 16 pts., 11 reb.; vs. Michigan 22 pts., 10 reb., vs. Tennessee 13 pts., 10 reb.) has six, Durrell Summers (vs. Gonzaga, 21 pts., 11 reb.; vs. Michigan, 10 pts., 10 reb.; vs. Northwestern, 24 points, 10 reb.) has tallied three and Delvon Roe (vs. Toledo, 10 pts., 11 reb.; vs. Valparaiso, 10 pts., 17 reb.) has two. Derrick Nix (vs. FGCU, 11 pts., 14 reb.) has one.
Moving Up The Scoring Chart
With 20 points against Florida, Kalin Lucas became the 40th Spartan to record 1,000 career points. The Spartan junior ranks 17th in MSU history with 1,418 points. His teammate, Raymar Morgan, currently ranks 10th in MSU history with 1,593 points.
Lending A Helping Hand
According to the most recent NCAA statistics (as of March 29), Michigan State ranks 10th in the nation in assists. With a current average of 16.5 assists per game, the Spartans have recorded an assist on 62.2 percent of their baskets. In the NCAA Tournament, MSU has recorded an assist in 64.2 percent of its makes. It's a team effort, as four different Spartans average at least two assists per game.
Morgan In Career Rankings
In the final stretch of his Spartan career, Raymar Morgan finds himself among the MSU career leaders in several categories. He currently ranks fourth in games started (119), fifth in free-throw attempts (569), sixth in free throws made (384), 10th in career rebounding (767 rebounds) and 10th in career scoring (1,593 points). Morgan is looking to become just the eighth player in Spartan history to score in double figures in all four years of his career. Against Tennessee, Morgan moved into the top 10 in scoring and rebounding, joining Greg Kelser and Paul Davis as the only players to rank in the top 10 in both categories.
With a 65-54 win at Penn State, Michigan State recorded its 11th 20-win season in the last 13 years, all under head coach Tom Izzo. Of the 19 20-win seasons in Spartan history, Izzo has been involved in 16 of them, 11 as a head coach and five as an assistant.
MSU's one-point victory over Tennessee was its third of the season. Earlier this season, for the first time in program history, the Spartans recorded back-to-back one-point road victories (at Minn. 65-64, at Mich. 57-56). Previously, MSU's last one-point Big Ten win came at Minnesota in 2004. The Spartans have not won two Big Ten games by a single point since 1995. The last time MSU won consecutive one-point games came in 1937 (at Geneva, vs. Kentucky). With its win over Tennessee, MSU became the fifth team since the tournament expanded in 1985 to advance to the Final Four with a one-point victory in the Regional Final (1987 Indiana, 1990 Duke, 1992 Duke and 2005 Illinois). Each of the previous four schools advanced to the national championship game.
Michigan State has had four or more players score in double figures in 14 games, as eight different players have scored 10 or more points at least once this season, and six different players have led the team in scoring in a single game.
Winning In Different Fashions
A sign of a great team is the ability to win different kinds of basketball games. Michigan State showed that trait in the first two games of the Big Ten season, winning at Northwestern with a 91-point offensive outburst, and defeating Wisconsin, 54-47, with a stifling defensive effort, holding the Badgers to 33.3 percent shooting. It's reminiscent of the 2000 NCAA Championship team that defeated Wisconsin, 53-41, in the National Semifinal and then sprinted by Florida, 89-76, in the title game. Just last year, MSU defeated Louisville in the Elite Eight with 64 points, and beat Connecticut in the Final Four with 82 points.
One of Tom Izzo's early concerns about his team was the defense, having lost 2009 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Travis Walton and outstanding post defender Goran Suton. For the most part, however, the Spartans have responded, limiting opponents to 40.8 percent shooting on the season, as just eight opponents have shot better than 44 percent. MSU has been equally stingy on its 3-point defense, holding teams to 33.1 percent shooting behind the arc, limiting 11 opponents to 25 percent or lower.
A Program First
This year, Michigan State had a stretch that saw it play six of eight conference games away from East Lansing for the first time in 60 years of playing Big Ten basketball. Twice before (1955 & 1975), the Spartans have played six of eight games on the road in the middle of the conference season, but in both cases, at least one of the road games was a non-conference tilt. While it's unusual to have a stretch like this, it's not unheard of, as this is the sixth occurrence by a Big Ten squad since the 1999-2000 season, joining Purdue (1999-2000), Indiana (2002-03), Ohio State (2002-03), Iowa (2003-04) and Michigan (2003-04). In 2001, MSU did play five of six games on the road during its Big Ten championship season.
Hot Start In League Play
For the first time in 60 seasons of Big Ten basketball, Michigan State opened league play with an 9-0 record. The previous best conference start was 7-0, established in 1977-78, when Earvin "Magic" Johnson was a Spartan freshman.
Lucas On Wooden Ballot
Kalin Lucas is one of 26 finalists on the final ballot for the John R. Wooden Award. He is one of just four players (Duke's Kyle Singler, Kansas' Sherron Collins, Notre Dame's Luke Harangody) to appear on the ballot in each of the last two years.
Taking Care of the Ball
Korie Lucious has posted impressive numbers in his role as a reserve point guard. He ranks second on the team with 3.2 assists per game and his 1.89 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks fifth in the Big Ten. Last season, he averaged just 1.2 assists with a 1.12 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Senior forward Raymar Morgan and junior guard Kalin Lucas were unanimous selections for team co-captains as voted on by their Spartan teammates. Right after Christmas, the MSU coaching staff added Draymond Green and Isaiah Dahlman as captains, rewarding them for their leadership.
Life Away From Home
Michigan State is 11-6 away from home this season, including 8-4 on an opponent's home court, with losses at Texas, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Illinois. Four of the Spartans' road games have been against a ranked opponent. MSU has won 15 of its last 18 conference road games. Last season, MSU was 19-5 away from East Lansing, including 10-4 on a neutral court, while also establishing a school record with eight Big Ten road wins.
Spartans In The NBA
Five former Spartans are currently on NBA rosters, including Charlie Bell (Milwaukee Bucks), Shannon Brown (Los Angeles Lakers), Morris Peterson (New Orleans Hornets), Zach Randolph (Memphis Grizzlies) and Jason Richardson (Phoenix Suns). Shannon Brown competed in the Sprite Slam Dunk contest at the NBA All-Star Game and Zach Randolph was selected as a Western Conference reserve for the All-Star Game.
Hall of Famers
Former Michigan State coach Jud Heathcote and Spartan All-American Earvin "Magic" Johnson were inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame on Sunday, Nov. 22 in Kansas City. In fact, following MSU's 90-60 win over Valparaiso that afternoon, Tom Izzo boarded a private plane to fly to Kansas City for the ceremony. Heathcote finished his 19-year coaching career as Michigan State's all-time winningest coach with 340 victories, capturing three Big Ten titles and the 1979 NCAA Championship. He coached seven All-Americans, 15 All-Big Ten honorees and 23 NBA Draft picks. Overall, he posted a 420-273 record in 24 seasons as a collegiate head coach. Johnson was a member of the 1979 NCAA Championship team and a two-time All-American. Despite playing just two seasons at MSU, he totaled 1,059 points and 491 assists. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.
MSU vs. Duke Notes
Duke is making its 34th NCAA Tournament appearance all-time and 15th Final Four trip. The Blue Devils advanced to the NCAA Tournament after winning both the ACC Tournament Championship, as well as finishing atop the conference in the regular season with a 13-3 record.
Duke vs. The Field of 65
Duke has played 12 games against teams in the 2010 NCAA Tournament field. Duke has an 8-4 record vs. those teams.
MSU and Duke share five common opponents this season - Gonzaga, Maryland, North Carolina, Purdue and Wisconsin. Both schools defeated Gonzaga, while the Blue Devils split with Maryland and the Spartans downed the Terrapins in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. MSU fell in its lone meeting with UNC, while Duke swept two games. The Green and White split with both Purdue and Wisconsin, while the Blue Devils lost to Badgers and downed the Boilermakers in the Regional Semifinals.
The Spartans trail in the all-time series against Duke, 5-2. MSU won the last meeting against the Blue Devils, on March 25, 2005, 78-68, in the Midwest Regional Semifinal. Duke holds a 3-2 edge in neutral court games over the Green and White.
Mike Krzyzewski (Army, '69) is in his 30th season as head coach at Duke. Krzyzewski has compiled a record of 793-220 with the Blue Devils, and 866-279 overall. Krzyzewski has led the Blue Devils to their 15th straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, receiving a No. 1 or No. 2 seed in 12 of the last 14 seasons. Krzyzewski is one of only four coaches in NCAA history to earn three or more NCAA titles (1991, 1992 and 2001). Overall, he has taken his program to postseason play in 27 of his 30 years and is the winningest active coach in NCAA Tournament play with a stunning 75-22 record for a .773 winning percentage. He also ranks first in NCAA Tournament history in wins (75) and games (97).
Blue Devil Notes
Duke earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the 11th time in school history ... The Blue Devils are 40-8 all-time as a top seed and have earned a No. 1 seed in nine of the last 13 tournaments ... Duke has won 11 straight neutral site games and is 19-1 at neutral sites over the last two seasons ... The Blue Devils have won an NCAA-best 62 games over the last two seasons ... Jon Scheyer, Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith are attempting to become just the third trio in Duke history to each average over 17.0 points per game - Jim Spanarkel, Mike Gminski and Gene Banks accomplished the feat in 1977-78, while Jason Williams, Carlos Boozer and Mike Dunleavy did the same in 2001-02 ... Nolan Smith, Jon Scheyer and Kyle Singler are just the second trio to score as 600+ points in a season, joining Jason Williams, Carlos Boozer and Mike Dunleavy who accomplished the feet in 2001-02 ... Duke is allowing 58 points per game in postseason play - 56.3 in NCAA Tournament games ... The Blue Devils have held four of their six postseason opponents to under 60 points in a game ... Duke has been ranked in the top 10 of the AP poll for 55 consecutive weeks (as of March 15) ... The Blue Devils' .754 winning percentage (92-30) in NCAA Tournament play is the best all-time.
MSU vs. West Virginia Notes
About West Virginia
West Virginia is making its 23rd appearance in the NCAA Tournament, dating back to 1955. WVU earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by winning the BIG EAST Conference Championship. The Mountaineers are making their second-ever trip to the NCAA Final Four. WVU advanced to the 1959 championship game, losing to Cal, 71-70.
West Virginia vs. The Field of 65
West Virginia went 9-5 against teams in this year's NCAA Tournament.
The Spartans and Mountaineers share three common opponents in The Citadel, Purdue and Ohio State. West Virginia topped both The Citadel and Ohio State, 69-50 and 71-65, respectively. WVU fell to Purdue, 77-62. The Spartans topped The Citadel, split with Purdue and lost to Ohio State in their lone meeting.
Michigan State is 2-1 all-time against West Virginia. The last meeting between the schools was Feb. 8, 1941 - a game the Spartans lost in East Lansing, 40-31. Tom Izzo has never faced the Mountaineers as a head coach.
Bob Huggins (West Virginia, `77) has compiled a 670-240 record in his 28 seasons as a head coach, which includes stints at Walsh College (1980-83), Akron (1984-1989), Cincinnati (1989-2005), Kansas State (2006-07) and West Virginia (2007-present). He ranks fourth in total victories and 12th in winning percentage among active Division I head coaches. Huggins is 80-29 in three seasons with the Mountaineers. Huggins has guided WVU to the NCAA Tournament in each of his three seasons. Huggins' teams have participated in postseason play in 25 of his 28 seasons, including 18 NCAA Tournaments. His squads have won 20 or more games in all but four of his 28 campaigns, including 30 or more twice, and he has averaged 23.7 victories a season. Huggins is now 26-17 in NCAA Division I Tournament games in his career, coaching in his 23rd Division I postseason appearance. Huggins became just the second coach in school history to win 20 games in each of his first three seasons coaching the Mountaineers.
The Mountaineers' No. 2 seed is the highest in school history ... West Virginia has won 18 of its last 22 games televised by CBS ... This is WVU's fifth NCAA appearance in the last six seasons - in the year the Mountaineers didn't make the NCAA Tournament, they won the NIT ... The Mountaineers are 12-0 in neutral site games this season ... West Virginia's 31 victories are a school record, breaking the mark of 29 wins set by the 1958-59 team, which lost in the NCAA national title game ... WVU is 27-9 in BIG EAST, NCAA and NIT postseason play in the last six seasons ... WVU has two Elite Eight appearances and two other Sweet 16 appearances since 2005, and is making only its second Final Four appearance all-time ... Da'Sean Butler was named to the All-BIG EAST first team, and Devin Ebanks was named to the third team ... Butler was named Most Outstanding Player of the BIG EAST Championship ... Joe Mazzulla was the East Region Most Outstanding Player.
The Book On Tom Izzo
In his 15th year, Tom Izzo (Northern Michigan, '77) is 364-145 (.715), and 174-76 (.696) in the Big Ten, as the coach of the Michigan State basketball program. He ranks as the winningest coach in Michigan State history, having passed his mentor Jud Heathcote with a 106-68 win over UMass for his 341st career victory. In his 14 seasons as a head coach, Izzo has won National Coach of the Year honors four times, including the Clair Bee Award in 2005 and NABC honors in 2001. In 1999, Izzo was named National Coach of the year by Basketball Times, while earning similar honors from The Associated Press, Basketball News and the USBWA in '98. He earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors in 1998 and 2009.
Among The Big Ten's Best
Tom Izzo's .696 winning percentage in Big Ten games ranks second all-time among league coaches with at least 10 years of service, behind former Indiana coach Bob Knight (.700) and ahead of Purdue's Ward Lambert (.685). In all games, Knight ranks first at .734, followed by Izzo (.713), Wisconsin's Walter Meanwell (.712) and Lambert (.709). With 174 conference victories, Izzo ranks tied for seventh all-time.
Izzo Among Best Ever
Through his first 14 seasons, Tom Izzo won 338 games, ranking tied for fifth in college basketball history for most wins by a college coach in his first 14 years.
Izzo's Coaching Tree
Five current Division I head coaches all served as assistants to Tom Izzo, including Jim Boylen (Utah), Tom Crean (Indiana), Brian Gregory (Dayton), Stan Heath (South Florida) and Doug Wojcik (Tulsa). Gregory is in his seventh year as head coach, after leaving MSU in the spring of 2003. Crean directed Marquette to the 2003 Final Four, while Heath directed Kent State to the Elite Eight in the 2002 NCAA Tournament. Wojcik is in his fifth season at Tulsa. Mike Garland served as head coach at Cleveland State for three seasons after leaving Izzo's staff in 2003. He is now back as an assistant coach at MSU. Most recently, Jim Boylen left MSU following the 2007 season, and is in his third season with Utah. Stan Joplin, an assistant during Izzo's first season, spent 12 seasons as head coach at Toledo.