Spartan Women's Basketball To Face Arizona State In The NCAA Tournament
Ninth-Seeded MSU To Face Eighth-Seeded Sun Devils Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET in Columbia, South Carolina.
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EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State women’s basketball drew the ninth seed in the Stockton Region and will face eight-seeded Arizona State on Friday, March 17 in a 7:30 p.m. (ET) tip-off in Colonial Life Arena on the campus of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina. Friday’s first-round clash between the Spartans and Sun Devils will be nationally televised on ESPN2.
The MSU-ASU game will follow the host and No. 1 seed South Carolina taking on 16th-seeded UNC Asheville on Friday, March 17, at 5 p.m. The winners of Friday’s games will meet in the second round game on Sunday, March 19 at a time to be announced later.
Michigan State is currently 21-11 after losing to No. 4 Maryland, 100-89, in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals.
MSU is in the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight season and the 16th time overall being in the “Big Dance.” Michigan State has gone to the NCAA Tournament 13 of the last 15 seasons.
This is the third time that the Spartans have been the No. 9 seed, also doing so in 1996 and 2009. MSU is 2-0 in the first round as a No. 9 seed and 3-2 overall. In 1996, Michigan State beat eighth-seeded Massachusetts, 60-57 (OT) in Storrs, Connecticut before going on to lose to No. 1 seed UConn, 88-68, in the second round. In 2009, MSU was the host site and beat No. 8 seed Middle Tennessee State, 60-59, then upset top-seeded Duke, 63-49, in the second round, losing to No. 4 seed Iowa State, 69-68, in the regional semifinals.
Michigan State (21-11) and Arizona State (19-12) will be meeting on the court for the first time. The 25th-ranked Sun Devils are an at-large team after finishing fifth in the Pac-12 with a 9-9 conference mark. After topping 12th-seeded Utah, 72-54, in the first round Pac-12 Tournament Arizona State lost to 15th-ranked and fourth-seeded UCLA, 77-68, in the Pac-12 quarterfinals on March 3.
Arizona State (19-12, 9-9) is making its 15th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and is going dancing for the fifth-straight season. The Sun Devils finished fifth in the Pac-12 and are an experienced group with three returning starters from last year’s co-Pac-12 Champions, accompanied with five freshman that were a top-10 ranked recruiting class. Senior and First Team All-Pac-12 selection Sophie Brunner leads the team in scoring with 13.5 ppg, while classmate Quinn Dornstauder is the other Sun Devil to average in double figures at 10.3 ppg. Arizona State allows just 57.3 ppg and owns a +7.3 rebounding margin that ranks 21st in the nation.
The Spartans and Sun Devils have two common opponents this season as Michigan State and Arizona State both played Maryland and Oregon this season. Arizona State defeated the Ducks at home, 68-63, on Feb. 5, while MSU traveled to Eugene on Nov. 22 and fell to Oregon, 88-55. MSU lost both its meetings with Maryland this season and the Terrapins handed ASU an 83-42 loss on Nov. 25 at the South Point Thanksgiving Tournament.
Single-session tickets for the first and second rounds will go on sale at 10 a.m. Tue., March 14. General admission seating is available for $15 (adult) for the first round (both games) and $12 (adult) for the second round. Youth and group pricing is also available. Booklets for the entire weekend are available for $23 and include a general admission ticket for each round. Purchase ticket booklets by calling 1-800-4SC-FANS, visiting the Colonial Life Arena box office during regular business hours or going online at GamecocksOnline.com. Single-sessions tickets are available at TicketMaster.com.