It’s March and that means it’s time for Michigan State to start dominating.
Of course, the Spartans have been fairly strong all season, but this team, which went from top in the country to injury-prone to back among the best, has been through it all this year and that’s got Michigan State more than just a little bit confident. In fact, Spartans senior standout Denzel Valentine has already guaranteed a national championship.
“Maybe I can say that now,” Valentine said after the Spartans final game of the regular season. “National championship guarantee, right now. We have the team to do it. The only thing that is gonna stop us is us.”
Michigan State hasn’t won a title since 2000, but if there’s any reason to be certain that the team can make a run this year, it’s in Valentine’s promise. After all, the senior has been the spark that makes the Spartans go all season.
The run at a title gets underway this week with an opening round tilt against Middle Tennessee. Here’s a look at the matchup and game details.
DATE: Friday, March 18
TIME: 2:30 p.m. ET
TV CHANNEL: CBS
LIVE STREAM INFO: TBD
UP NEXT: Winner plays Dayton/Syracuse
Michigan State at a Glance
RECORD: 29-5 (13-5)
LOCATION: East Lansing, Michigan
CONFERENCE: Big 10
COACH: Tom Izo
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Denzel Valentine, Sr., Guard (19.6 PPG, 11.5 APG, 7.5 RPG, .465 FG%, .445 3FG%), Bryn Forbes, Sr., Guard (14.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 1.15 APG , .492 FG%, .493 3FG%).
Middle Tennessee at a Glance
LOCATION: Murfreesboro, Tennessee
COACH: Kermit Davis
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Giddy Potts (14.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 2.7 3ptPG, .503 3pt%), Reggie Upshaw (13.8 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 1.5 SPG, 0.8 BPG, .506FG%), Perrin Buford (12.0 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.2 BPG, .515 FG%), Darnell Harris (11.6 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.6 3ptPG, .397 3pt%)