March Madness 2013: Michigan State Cruises Past Valparaiso 65-54

Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

March Madness is upon us which means everyone is looking for am opening round upset (I don’t care about the ‘Play-In’ Round, today is the first round of the tournament). Valparaiso was looking to give Michigan State a hard time in the first game of the day, and they actually managed to keep the Spartans on their toes during the game.

1

2

F

 3 Michigan St.

35

30 

65

14 Valparaiso

18

36

54

  MSU – D.Nix: 23pts, 15reb, 2stl  VAL - B. Boggs: 15 Pts, 2 Reb, 1 Stl  

Right off the bat the Spartans were playing that low-scoring Big Ten offense, not distancing themselves from the Crusaders until about halfway through the first half. But that’s when Michigan State hit their stride and took off, jumping out to what seemed to be a comfortable 35-18 lead at the half.

The Crusader’s wouldn’t back down though.

Despite the deficit at the half, hung tight with the Spartans on the other side of halftime, matching Michigan State blow-for-blow in the box score. The second half push by Valparaiso helped pull them back into the game and within a manageable distance of the Spartans. But right around the halfway point of the second half, much like the first half, Michigan State hit another stride and cruised to the finish line in their opening game of the tournament.

Michigan State, if they can keep their heads on straight, have a very real chance of making a run to the Elite Eight and the Midwest Regional Final. Memphis (or Saint Mary’s) in the next round present about as much resistance as Valparaiso did on Thursday afternoon, but the Crusaders made some pushes back at the Spartans, and if a better team tries that deeper in the tournament, Michigan State might get themselves into a hole they can’t dig out of.

 

Topics: March Madness, Michigan State Spartans, NCAA, Valparaiso Crusaders

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