clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Michigan State vs. Virginia, NCAA Tournament 2015: Time, TV schedule and live stream

The Spartans and Cavaliers face off in a rematch of last year's tense Sweet 16 matchup.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan State Spartans bruised their way to a 61-59 win over the Virginia Cavaliers in the Sweet 16 of the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Virginia gets a chance to turn the tables in the Round of 32 on Sunday in a rematch of last year's classic.

The game should be another tough, tense affair. The No. 2 seed Virginia has one of the nation's best adjusted defenses in the country (No. 2 to Kentucky in ratings). The No. 7 seeded Spartans have the grittiness of a Tom Izzo team in March. The winner will head to Syracuse, New York for a Sweet 16 game against the winner of Oklahoma and Dayton.

Virginia, who many believed would get a No. 1 seed after winning the regular season title in the ACC and finishing the season at 29-3, has a nearly impenetrable defense. Coach Tony Bennett's teams consistently play hard, and the tough defense makes a 10-point lead seem almost insurmountable. Belmont gave the Cavaliers a scare in the Round of 64 thanks to hot shooting -- the Bruins made 47.4 percent of their shots. But Virginia can score, too. The Wahoos won 79-67 over Belmont, led by 22 points from Malcolm Brogdon. Brogdon was an All-ACC player, but this team has a lot of weapons. Big man Anthony Gill will be important against the front line of Michigan State, especially Branden Dawson, who torched Virginia a year ago.

Michigan State lost Gary Harris and Adreian Payne to the NBA, but Dawson is back. He scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the Sweet 16 game last season. He'll need to assert himself against the stingy Cavaliers' defense on Sunday, and so will the rest of the Spartans. Denzel Valentine and Travis Trice will need to hit shots -- Trice was just 6-of-15 from the field in the Spartans' win over Georgia in the Round of 64. If Michigan State is going to knock Virginia out of the tournament for the second consecutive year, the Spartans are going to have to finish. They almost fumbled away the Georgia game, letting a 12-point lead with six minutes remaining evaporate to just three with 31 seconds to play. Closing out games has been an issue for the Spartans all year, and a lot of it has to do with the fact that the Spartans are putrid from the line. They hit 63 percent of their free throws this year and were just 11-of-19 against the Bulldogs.

Expect this game to be tight. Bennett and Izzo are coaches who preach toughness and defense. If the Spartans can hit shots and Dawson can play as well as he did last season, they have a good shot to bring down mighty Virginia for the second year in a row.

Time: 12:10 p.m. ET, on CBS

Place: Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte

Online: March Madness On Demand

Odds: Virginia -5