Michigan State enters the 2012 NCAA Tournament after earning a share of the Big Ten regular season title. The Spartans, Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan Wolverines split the regular season crown, finishing the year at 13-5 in conference play. For Michigan State, the tie was a missed opportunity -- with a win over Ohio State in the regular-season finale, the Spartans would've captured the crown and the bragging rights over their rivals that would've come with it.
The Spartans are limping into March Madness after freshman Branden Dawson tore his ACL in the last game of the regular season. Dawson had been a key contributor, scoring just over eight points in about 20 minutes per night in his first year.
Michigan State is led by senior Draymond Green, who averaged a double-double -- 16.2 points and 10.3 rebounds -- per game in the regular season. Keith Appling also averaged double-figures, scoring 11.5 points per game, while also leading the way in assists with 3.8 per game.
The Spartans entered the 2012 Big Ten Tournament as the No. 1 seed and went all the way. They defeated No. 8 Iowa in the quarterfinals and bested No. 4 seed Wisconsin in the semifinals. They managed to defeat No. 3 seed Ohio State Buckeyes in the Championship Game to cap off their big season.
Michigan State managed to grab a No. 1 seed in the West Region by virtue of its Big Ten Tournament Championship. The Spartans will face Long Island in the Second Round.
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