Michigan State Men's Basketball 2020 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Michigan State Spartans

Big Ten (22-9, 14-6)

Michigan State came into the 2019-2020 campaign as the team to beat. However, some bad luck in the injury department quickly took the Spartans out of the top spot in the nation and even out of the top 25. But this is Coach Tom Izzo’s team. They have the NCAA Tournament experience and the talent to make another push towards the Final Four.
Big Wins: 11/14 at Seton Hall (76-73), 1/17 Wisconsin (67-55), 2/29 at Maryland (78-66)
Bad Losses: 11/25 vs Virginia Tech (66-71), 1/12 at Purdue (42-71), 2/4 Penn State (70-75)
Coach: Tom Izzo
Why They Can Surprise:
This group does what most Coach Izzo teams do. They hit the glass very effectively and share the ball well. This year Michigan State often plays great defense and never makes it easy for the opposition to get a clean look at the basket too. Senior point guard Cassius Winston will often take over games, averaging 18.6 points, 5.9 assists and 1.2 steals. Much of the rest of the production comes from the frontcourt duo of Xavier Tillman and Aaron Henry. Tillman has had a sensational junior year, tallying 13.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 2.1 blocks per game. He can fill up the stat sheet in a hurry. Aaron Henry, a 6-6 sophomore forward, is the other consistent scorer on the team, but Gabe Brown and Rocket Watts will occasionally add another scoring threat to the team.
Why They Can Disappoint:
By the numbers, this is a solid Michigan State team. The offense scores a point or two less than they did last year, but the defense has been a little bit better. The turnover margin is typically poor, but it is not as bad as it was last season and that group reached the Final Four. With upperclassmen leaders like Winston and Tillman, the Spartans have what they need to do it again. However, the rest of the roster is quite inexperienced. If the younger players make mistakes and are timid when it comes to shooting the ball, this group will have to rely too heavily on Winston and Tillman. They need others to step up and at least provide another scoring threat.
Probable Starters:
Cassius Winston, Senior, Guard, 18.6 ppg, 5.9 apg
Rocket Watts, Freshman, Guard, 9.0 ppg, 1.7 apg
Malik Hall, Freshman, Forward, 4.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg
Aaron Henry, Sophomore, Forward, 10.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg
Xavier Tillman, Junior, Forward, 13.7 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 3.0 apg, 2.1 bpg
Key Role Players:
Gabe Brown, Sophomore, Forward, 6.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg
Thomas Kithier, Sophomore, Forward, 3.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg
Kyle Ahrens, Senior, Guard, 3.6 ppg
Marcus Bingham, Sophomore, Forward, 3.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.9 (51st in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.7 (50, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.1 (55, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 37.9 (5, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.7 (129, 8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.8 (99, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 75.0 (51, 3)
Rebound Margin: 7.5 (12, 2)
Assists Per Game: 17.7 (2, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.5 (118, 12)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2019NCAARound of 64 win over Bradley
2019NCAARound of 32 win over Minnesota
2019NCAARegional Semifinal win over LSU
2019NCAARegional Final win over Duke
2019NCAANational Semifinal loss to Texas Tech
2018NCAARound of 64 win over Bucknell
2018NCAARound of 32 loss to Syracuse
2017NCAARound of 64 win over Miami (FL)
2017NCAARound of 32 loss to Kansas
2016NCAARound of 64 loss to Middle Tennessee State
2015NCAARound of 64 win over Georgia
2015NCAARound of 32 win over Virginia
2015NCAARegional Semifinal win over Oklahoma
2015NCAARegional Final win over Louisville
2015NCAANational Semifinal loss to Duke
2014NCAARound of 64 win over Delaware
2014NCAARound of 32 win over Harvard
2014NCAARegional Semifinal win over Virginia
2014NCAARegional Final loss to Connecticut
2013NCAARound of 64 win over Valparaiso
2013NCAARound of 32 win over Memphis
2013NCAARegional Semifinal loss to Duke
2012NCAARound of 64 win over Long Island
2012NCAARound of 32 win over St. Louis
2012NCAARegional Semifinal loss to Louisville
2011NCAARound of 64 loss to UCLA
2010NCAARound of 64 win over New Mexico State
2010NCAARound of 32 win over Maryland
2010NCAARegional Semifinal win over Northern Iowa
2010NCAARegional Final win over Tennessee
2010NCAANational Semifinal loss to Butler
2009NCAARound of 64 win over Robert Morris
2009NCAARound of 32 win over USC
2009NCAARegional Semifinal win over Kansas
2009NCAARegional Final win over Louisville
2009NCAANational Semifinal win over Connecticut
2009NCAANational Final loss to North Carolina
2008NCAARound of 64 win over Temple
2008NCAARound of 32 win over Pittsburgh
2008NCAARegional Semifinal loss to Memphis
2007NCAARound of 64 win over Marquette
2007NCAARound of 32 loss to North Carolina
*all team stats through 3/8