NCAA tournament preview: No. 3 Michigan State vs. No. 14 Bucknell

13 March, 2018, 11:21 | Author: Elena Meyer
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The Golden Gophers are 11-9 (.550) in NCAA Tournament games, highlighted by a trip to the 2004 Final Four. "We took a day off, a day and a half off".

Conference: Patriot League. Bid: Automatic. MI basketball, having won the Big Ten Tournament, knew it was getting in with an automatic bid.

When picking the Final Four, remember the committee often gets it right: Of the 116 spots in the Final Four since 1989, only 12 were filled by teams worse than a No. 5 seed, including No. 7 SC a year ago.

"Nothing is gonna cause us to lose but us", Izzo said. The Horned Frogs' last NCAA Tournament victory occurred in 1987, when senior guard Jamie Dixon - wrapping up his second season as his alma mater's coach - scored 11 points in a 76-60 opening-round win against Marshall. Michigan, playing as a #7 seed made its third Sweet 16 in the past five years last season.

MSU has only once previously played Bucknell, a 64-52 victory at Breslin Center on November 21, 2003.

Season recap: Few teams have had as dominant of a year as the Spartans.

Bucknell lost road games to Arkansas, North Carolina and Maryland in November.

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Northern Colorado is 26-6 going into the NCAA Tournament and got into the postseason by winning the Big Sky Conference Tournament.

Region: Midwest. Seed: No. 14. MSU is motivated to excel in March after going one-and-done in the 2016 Big Ten dance and getting dumped in the second round past year.

The Huskies enter as the lone unbeaten team and will be vying for their 12th national championship. "After what we went through a couple years ago (in losing to Middle Tennessee State), our job will be to prepare for the weekend on Monday and Tuesday. So that's what we really put some emphasis on".

"Definitely not taking anybody for granted". In a season filled with upsets in every conference, Michigan State has shown control and consistency through a roster brimming with talent at all positions. He averages 12.6 points and a league-best 6.8 assists while also pacing the conference in 3-point percentage (52.6) and proving to be an adept facilitator for this all-star lineup.

Jay Bilas just said he would have MSU as a 1 seed.

MSU lost, 88-81, to the Blue Devils on November 14 in the Champions Classic in Chicago.

The Badgers saw their streak of 19 straight NCAA Tournament appearances end, but they had to deal with inexperience and injuries.

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