Spartans Prepare For Glory
April 5, 2009
NCAA National Championship Game - Game #38
#2 Michigan State (31-6, 15-3)
April 6, 2009
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;
Westwood One Radio - Kevin Kugler (Play by Play), Bill Raftery and John Thompson (Color), Jim Gray (Sidelines)
The Opening Tip:
* Michigan State is making its nation's-best fifth trip to the Final Four in the last 11 years, all under head coach Tom Izzo. The Spartans are 5-5 in Final Four action. Michigan State's seven Final Four appearances rank ninth all-time.
* Michigan State is 2-0 in National Championship games. The Spartans defeated Indiana State, 75-64, in 1979, and Florida, 89-76, in 2000.
* Under head coach Tom Izzo, Michigan State has a spectacular 14-2 record in the second game of a weekend in NCAA Tournament play. The Spartans' only two losses have come when playing a top seed in an opponent's home state, falling to No. 1 Texas at the 2003 South Region Final in San Antonio and losing to No. 1 North Carolina in the 2007 second round in Winston-Salem, N.C.
* Every student-athlete to play four years for Tom Izzo has appeared in at least one Final Four before leaving Michigan State. In total, 53 Spartan student-athletes have been a part of a Final Four squad.
* Tom Izzo's five Final Four appearances rank tied for seventh all-time and tied for third among active coaches, trailing only Mike Krzyzewski (10) and Roy Williams (7). Izzo also ranks tied for first all-time among Big Ten coaches with Indiana's Bob Knight. In addition, Izzo is one of only eight coaches in NCAA history to take the same school to at least five Final Fours.
* The Spartans are just the 13th team in Final Four history to play within their state borders, becoming the first squad to do so since Duke played in Charlotte in 1994. With Michigan State's home court, the Breslin Center, standing 91 miles from Ford Field, the Spartans will be playing the closest to home of any Final Four team since Kansas won the 1988 championship in Kansas City. Michigan State is looking to become the first team since UCLA in 1975 to win a National Championship in its home state.
* Michigan State is making its 12th straight NCAA Tournament appearance in 2009. It is the longest current streak among Big Ten schools and fourth longest in the nation.
* Michigan State is one of just 14 schools to have won two or more NCAA Championships. Cincinnati, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Louisville, North Carolina State, Oklahoma State and San Francisco join MSU with two titles. Only Duke (3), North Carolina (4), Indiana (5), Kentucky (7) and UCLA (11) have won more titles.
MSU vs. North Carolina Notes
Final Four - No. 2 MSU 82 - No. 1 UConn 73
Notes From The 2009 NCAA Tournament
* The Spartans have also defeated four teams that won either their conference regular season or tournament crown (Robert Morris, USC, Kansas, Louisville) and the defending national champion.
* Goran Suton, the Most Outstanding Player of the Midwest Regional, is averaging a double-double in the NCAA Tournament (12.2 ppg; 10.6 rpg).
* Kalin Lucas leads the Spartans in scoring during the tournament, averaging 14.4 points and a team-best 5.4 assists. His 21 points against Connecticut marked a personal best in a tournament game.
* MSU is limiting opponents to 63.6 points per game during the tournament.
* The Spartans, who lead the nation in rebound margin, have a +5.8 rebound margin in the tournament.
* MSU is shooting .382 from 3-point range, while holding opponents to .279 from behind the arc.
* Draymond Green is averaging 8.8 points, after entering the tournament averaging 2.3 points.
* Michigan State entered the NCAA Tournament averaging 71.9 points, but are scoring 72.8 points per tournament contest.
* Nine different Spartans have scored in double-figures in a tournament game
* The Spartans are averaging just 12.4 turnovers per game, entering the tournament with a 14.0 per game average.
* Tom Izzo ranks third among active coaches for the best NCAA Tournament winning percentage at .756 (31-10). Duke's Mike Krzyzewski ranks first at .763 (71-22), followed by Florida's Billy Donovan at .759 (22-7). Izzo ranks just ahead of North Carolina's Roy Williams at .750 (54-18).
* Thirty years after Michigan State won its first NCAA Championship, the 2009 Spartans can look back for a few good omens. For example, the only other time MSU has been a No. 2 seed came in 1979. And, just like in 1979, the Spartans won their regional in Indianapolis.
* Michigan State has won 14 of the last 16 games thanks in large part to great defense. Over the last 16 games, the Spartans are holding opponents to 59.0 points per game, allowing teams to shoot just 39.8 percent from the field and 27.5 percent from 3-point range. Only seven teams have scored 60 points and just three have scored 70.
* Michigan State is 22-3 with Morgan in the starting lineup and 21-2 when he plays 20 minutes or more. The Spartans average 76.1 points and own a +10.7 rebound margin when Morgan plays 20 minutes or more, but just 65.4 ppg and +7.4 on the boards when he plays fewer than 20 minutes or not at all.
* Michigan State's 31 wins are the third most in school history. Only the 1999 (33 wins) and 2000 (32) teams had more victories.
* Michigan State leads the nation in rebound margin at +9.4 (as of March 30). MSU has led the Big Ten in rebounding margin in nine of the last 11 years. This season, the Spartans are 27-5 when out-rebounding their opponent. MSU has out-rebounded 25 of the last 27 opponents.
* Michigan State is 19-4 away from the Breslin Center, including 10-3 on a neutral court. MSU finished a league-best 8-1 in league road games after winning its first six conference road games for the first time since joining the Big Ten in 1950-51.
* With 876 rebounds for his career, Goran Suton ranks sixth in MSU history, 30 behind Mike Peplowski (906) in fifth place.
* Michigan State has used 14 different starting lineups this season, including nine in the first 12 games. Eleven different Spartans have started a game this season. The Spartans are 11-1 when Morgan, Roe and Suton are all in the starting lineup.
* With 552 career assists, Travis Walton ranks sixth in Michigan State history. His 2.58 assist-to-turnover ratio leads the league overall. He needs 10 assists to pass current Spartan assistant Mark Montgomery (561 assists) for fifth place.
* Kalin Lucas has led MSU in scoring in 14 of the last 26 games, scoring 20 or more points in nine contests.
* Michigan State is 17-2 when committing fewer turnovers than its opponent, and 4-0 when turnovers are equal, but just 10-4 when committing more. The Spartans are 22-2 when committing fewer than 15 turnovers, but just 9-4 when committing 15 or more.
* The Spartans are 19-1 when scoring 70 or more points, but just 12-5 when scoring fewer than 70. Defensively, MSU is 28-0 when allowing fewer than 70 points, but 3-6 when allowing more than 70.
* Michigan State leads the Big Ten in offensive rebounds, grabbing 14.05 per game. The Spartans are grabbing 40.9 percent of their missed shots.
* Ten Spartans average 8.9 minutes or more, while 11 average 6.1 minutes or more, although Kalin Lucas is the only player to average more than 29.
* Michigan State is recording an assist on 63.6 percent of its baskets (598-of-940). In tournament play, the Spartans are recording an assist on 69.5 percent of their baskets.
* The day after Michigan State played North Carolina in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, Goran Suton underwent arthroscopic surgery. MSU is 27-4 with Suton in the lineup. * MSU's bench has out-scored the opponent's bench in 28 of 37 games this season. The Spartan reserves have out-scored the opponent subs, 988-617, an average of 26.7-16.7.
* Traditionally a strong free-throw shooting team, Michigan State is shooting just .697 from the charity stripe, but is shooting .775 in NCAA Tournament play.
* Chris Allen has been Michigan State's sixth man for most of the season. He has come off the bench in 32 of the Spartans' 37 games, and has been the first sub off the bench in 19 of the last 29 games in which he's come off the bench.
* Michigan State is 17-1 when Marquise Gray scores in double figures 18 times in his career.
at the official