The Spartans are ready for tomorrow nights contest. Below is the pertinent information courtesy of Michael "MEX" Carey the terrific MSU SID.
Des Moines, Iowa – In what will have the feel of a Big Ten Conference game, Michigan State's men's basketball team will seek to reach the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament when it faces league rival Minnesota on Saturday, March 23 at Wells Fargo Arena. Tipoff between the No. 2 seed Spartans and the No. 10 seed Golden Gophers is slated for 7:45 p.m. (ET). Records Michigan State, coming off a 76-65 win over No. 15 seed Bradley on Thursday afternoon, enters the game with a 29-6 overall record. Minnesota, who advanced with an 86-76 win over No. 7 seed Louisville on Thursday, is 22-13 overall. Last Time Out MSU used a 9-0 run late in the second half to open up an eight-point lead as the Spartans pulled away for a 76-65 win over Bradley … Junior guard Cassius Winston (Detroit, Mich./University of Detroit Jesuit) scored 13 apiece in each half and finished with a game-high 26 points, leading three players in double figures … Sophomore forward Xavier Tillman (Grand Rapids, Mich./GR Christian) had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds and senior guard Matt McQuaid (Duncanville, Texas/Duncanville) chipped in 10 points. About the Spartans
- Through 35 games, Winston leads the team with 19.1 points per game and 7.5 assists per game ... Winston is fourth in the Big Ten in scoring and is No. 3 in the country in assists per game … He has scored at least 20 points 18 times this season.
- Junior forward Nick Ward (Gahanna, Ohio/Lincoln), who missed five games with a hairline fracture in his left hand, is averaging 13.8 points and 6.2 rebounds
- McQuaid is averaging 9.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists … In four postseason games (Big Ten and NCAA Tournament), he is averaging 14.3 points and shooting 47.8 percent from 3-point land (11-of-23).
- Tillman is scoring 9.6 points per game, is second on the team with 7.2 rebounds and is third in the Big Ten in field goal percentage (60.5 percent) ... In seven starts since Ward's injury, Tillman is averaging 12.6 points and 8.4 rebounds.
- Redshirt senior Kenny Goins (Troy, Mich./Warren Mott) is sixth on the team in scoring with 8.1 points and leads the team with 8.9 rebounds per game, which ranks No. 39 nationally.
- Freshman Aaron Henry (Indianapolis, Ind./Ben Davis) is averaging 5.6 points and 3.6 rebounds (6.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg in 18 starts).
- MSU ranks among the top-10 in the country in nine different statistical categories ... The Spartans rank No. 43 in the country in scoring offense (78.7 ppg), No. 15 in field goal percentage (48.4%), No. 38 in scoring defense (65.5 ppg) and No. 3 in field goal percentage defense (37.9%).
MSU in the NCAA Tournament
- Michigan State ranks ninth overall and tied for first among Big Ten schools with 66 NCAA Tournament victories ... The win over Bradley on March 21 tied MSU with Indiana for the most NCAA wins among Big Ten schools.
- Since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, Michigan State has advanced to the round of 32 on 22 occasions ... MSU has a 15-6 record in round of 32 games since 1985, including 13-3 under Tom Izzo.
- Michigan State's deep NCAA Tournament runs can be attributed to its success with quick turnarounds … Under Tom Izzo, the Spartans are a remarkable 21-6 in the second game of an NCAA Tournament weekend ... Five of the six losses have all come to No. 1 seeds or eventual National Champions.
- Minnesota and Michigan State are familiar foes with MSU leading the overall series 70-60.
- The Spartans topped the Gophers, 79-55, on Feb. 9 in East Lansing in their only meeting this season.
- The conference foes have never met in the NCAA Tournament.
- Minnesota has three players averaging in double figures, led by Amir Coffey who scores 16.3 points per game.
- Jordan Murphy is Minnesota's all-time leading rebounder and ranks third in career scoring and is second and fifth nationally in double-doubles (22) and rebounds (11.5 rpg), respectively.
- Murphy and Coffey both captured All-Big Ten honors
- Overall, Minnesota is fifth in the league in rebounding margin (+2.6).
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