The Blackbirds are a high scoring team, averaging close to 80 points a game ranking them third nationally. LIU also has pretty decent size and athleticism in their starting five, which may be able to match the Spartans. Spartans still should be able to hurt LIU inside with Derrick Nix and as usual I expect MSU to be able to shut down or impair LIU on offense.
Third Round Play
The Spartans cold face an X- Factor in the third round against Memphis. Memphis is capable of beating THE Spartans, but the story of Memphis has been their inconsistency.
Memphis is very athletic and also has a lot of intensity that can match Michigan State's athleticism and intensity. If Memphis makes it to the third round, they can challenge Spartan's defense and possibly cause an upset.
If Memphis is knocked off by Saint Louis, they too could be an interesting matchup for the Spartans.
Saint Louis has decent depth but they lack experience. They are an efficient shooting team from the perimeter and the post. They have size, but not great size and that could hinder the Spartans. Mostly everybody on the Saint Louis roster shoots 41% or higher, they generally play smart and take smart and good shots.
Michigan State athleticism and size should cause problems for Saint Louis if the two teams meet. Defensively the Spartans will need to be efficient and discipline, they have to do well on the boards, Saint Louis is somewhat of a hustle team, and the Spartans can't be outhustled if they hope to win.
Sweet Sixteen & Beyond
Entering the sweet sixteen, Michigan State will probably face Louisville. This unfortunately is where I think the Spartans have the best chance to be knocked out of the tournament.
Louisville has a half court and transitional game. They have some veteran leadership along with NCAA tournament experience. Lastly they have a great coach in Rick Pitino. I believe this game will be a great challenge for the Spartans.
I honestly don't believe the Spartans will make it passed the Sweet Sixteen this season due to their inconsistent play as they have allowed too many good teams to make a comeback or hang around to win.
Now I know the Spartans are known for making it to the Final Four, but if they are to do that, there are two teams in particular they might have to face that I believe they would lose to, those teams are Florida and Missouri.
As I said before, I don't believe the Spartans will make it pass the Sweet Sixteen, but if they did, I anticipate they're season would come to an end if they ended up facing Missouri or Florida.
They don't match up well with Florida; I believe Florida's guards would destroy the guard play of the Spartans. I also feel Florida can out muscle and possibly out hustle the Spartans. Now with Missouri, they seem to match up with a little better. However I still believe Missouri's great guard combo duo would destroy the Spartan's perimeter defense. Intensity wise they would match the Spartans but the Spartans could still use the post to their advantage.
Michigan State has enjoyed a great season; I anticipate they will end the post season in a respectable and intense manor. Michigan State will not be beaten easily. Again I will say my prediction is that the Spartans will be beaten in the Sweet Sixteen, if they do however manage to make it the Elite Eight, I firmly believe that is when they will lose to either Florida or Missouri.
Then again, you just never know with a Tom Izzo squad as they can also surprise everyone with a return to the final game of the season.