The Michigan State Spartans have been awarded a 7th seed in the NCAA tournament’s East Region after finishing the 2014-2015 regular season with a record of 23-11 and in third place in the Big 10. They were one of the best passing teams in the country, as they averaged 17.1 assists per game. That mark was 4th in the country for assists per game, and good passing is a staple of a Tom Izzo coached team.
The Spartans netted big victories against Maryland, Ohio State, and Michigan. However, they suffered some pretty gruesome losses this season capped off by their defeat at the hands of Texas Southern on Dec. 20th. They also fell to the top competition in the Big 10 and their non-conference schedule. The Spartans lost to Notre Dame, Duke, Kansas, and Wisconsin this season, and were unable to capitalize on their opportunities to beat the best teams in the country.
However, the Spartans were able to shoot the ball extremely well this season. As a team, they are shooting 47 percent from the field. Led by Travis Trice and Denzel Valentine, the Spartans were 32nd in overall shooting percentage in the country. However, the Spartans were abysmal defensively at times, giving up 90 points to Minnesota and 81 points to Duke.
Tom Izzo’s squad faces a 10th-seeded Georgia squad in the first game of the tournament. Georgia was on the bubble for most of the season, but are an extremely good rebounding team. They are averaging 38 rebounds per game, which is 24th best in the country. However, the Bulldogs played a very easy schedule, and lost to each of the five ranked teams that they played. If Michigan State can rebound well, they should be in prime position to take this match up.
According to TiqIQ, tickets to this match up and the Virginia vs. Belmont match up are being sold together and are going for an average price of $201.95 on the secondary market. To get into Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, it will cost $68.00.
If the Spartans can top the Bulldogs, they will likely run into the buzz-saw of the No. 2 Virginia Cavaliers. If the Spartans wish to reach deep into the tournament, there will not be any easy games. However, Spartans fans should be looking forward to these match ups.
Spartan fans want to see a rematch of last year’s Sweet 16 with Virginia in the third round, so use Hipmunk.com to reserve hotels in Charlotte for your multiple night stay. Hipmunk has Charlotte hotels from $76 and up as you take in both of Michigan State’s tournament games. To stay in the Charlotte area, you need to get to Charlotte first, and Hipmunk is your resource for flights to and from Charlotte as well.