Location: East Lansing, MI. Home of the Michigan State Sparten.
Nickname: Spartans Mascot: Sparty. Once caught with inflatable doll.
Coach: Tom Izzo. Also known as the only legitimate challenge for Gary Williams' claim to the title of best coach in America. He's also never stepped out of the shower, looked in the mirror, and said "God, you did good." Gary does that four times a day.
Best Player: Kalin Lucas. Burst onto the scene last year with a great tournament; has since been overrated by many fans and analysts alike. He's extremely quick, but undersized and has an average shot. The quickness, however, could be enough to do Maryland in.
Hey, Their Best Player Did Something Bad Too: Namely, give a nasty elbow. Not as funny as Coleman's facestomp, but Kalin Lucas seems a pretty mellow dude. I think I would enjoy chilling with him.
Previously Known By Maryland Fans For: Providing a big Thanksgiving win (well, loss for them) that gave Maryland an NCAAT bid. So we like these guys.
What They Do Well: Rebound and play defense. They're a traditional Big Ten team that boxes out and gives a team-wide effort to cleaning the glass. They also play tight defense and force low-percentage outside shots.
What They Don't Do Well: Hold onto the ball and force turnovers. MSU's only true weakness has to do with the turnover aspect of the game, as they give the ball away more than they would please, and hold onto it less.
So Is That Kind of Like the Opposite of Houston? Yes.
In a Nutshell: Like I said, opposite of Houston. Whereas the Coogs were a high-tempo attack that had one major player, Michigan State is a methodical squad that balances its points out evenly. They have more than their share of TOs and don't force many, and will trade giving up twos for giving up threes. It'll be an interesting one.
I Want More: Read our first look.