Michigan State vs. Middle Tennessee March Madness Preview

Michigan State, NCAA Tournament, March Madness

The Michigan State men’s hoops team has always been strong in March, but now the squad is going after a national title. (Getty)

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.

REGION: Midwest

DATE: Friday, March 18

TIME: 2:30 p.m. ET


POINT SPREAD: TBD. Click here for more March Madness betting info from Heavy’s partners at OddsShark.


UP NEXT: Winner plays Dayton/Syracuse

Michigan State at a Glance

RECORD: 29-5 (13-5)

LOCATION: East Lansing, Michigan


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

RECORD: 24-9

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%)

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