Michigan State coach Tom Izzo has his Spartans in a familiar setting — in more ways than one — as they meet Miami (Fla.) in first round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament on Friday.
Izzo is back in Tulsa, Okla., where was an assistant coach for a 7-week spell in 1986. He left to be an assistant at Michigan State, and never left. His Spartans, seeded ninth in the Midwest Region, will play the 8-seeded Hurricanes at approximately 9:20 p.m. ET at the BOK Center.
It is also Izzo and Michigan State’s 20th straight trip to the Big Dance, though this is one of his lowest-seeded clubs. The Spartans enter the contest with a 19-14 record. Miami is 21-11.These Spartans will be one of his lowest-seeded groups, coming in at No. 9 in the Midwest region against the No. 8 Hurricanes.
⏲ 9:20 p.m.
? BOK Center // Tulsa, Okla.
? TNT pic.twitter.com/MP8UC0ANiJ
— Spartan Basketball (@MSU_Basketball) March 16, 2017
The Hurricanes are coached by Jim Larrañaga, who has taken down MSU with George Mason in the 2006 NCAA Tournament and with Miami in the 2012 ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
“Tom and I have never discussed it, but the media tends to bring it up a lot,” Larrañaga said with a laugh on Thursday about the wins. “But that’s in the past. It has nothing to do with (Friday) night’s game. It’s Michigan State against the University of Miami.”
Michigan State-Miami game time, details for 2017 NCAA Tournament
Time: 30 minutes after UC Davis-Kansas; approximately 9:20 p.m. ET
Date: Friday, March 17
Location: BOK Center, Tulsa, Okla.
What TV channel is Michigan State-Miami basketball on?
The game airs on TNT.
How can I watch Michigan State-Miami basketball online?
The NCAA will stream the game on March Madness Live.
How can I listen to Michigan State-Miami basketball on the radio?
For Michigan State, the game can be heard on radio over the 38-affiliate Spartan Sports Network, including flagship stations WMMQ-FM (94.9)/WJIM-AM (1240) in Lansing and WJR-AM (760) in Detroit. It is also on Sirius 136/XM 202.
Who are the announcers for Michigan State-Miami basketball?
Kevin Harlan will handle play-by-play for TNT, while Reggie Miller and Dan Bonner will provide analysis. Dana Jacobson will report from the sideline. Will Tieman will handle play-by-play alongside analyst Matt Steigenga on the Spartan Sports Network.
Michigan State-Miami basketball preview for 2017 NCAA Tournament
Control the tempo
Miami knows how to make opponents play its game. The Hurricanes can turn up the pace or slow it down when they want. Their 67.0 possessions per game, which rank 329th in the country, show that they typically prefer to keep it slow. Michigan State will need to get out on the break and look for easy buckets in transition, because Miami’s half-court defense is tough to break down.
Rebound, rebound, rebound
How can the Spartans make sure they create opportunities to pick up the pace? By cleaning up the defensive boards. Despite losing big men Gavin Schilling and Ben Carter to preseason knee injuries, they’ve been solid in that department, rebounding 72.7 percent of opponents’ misses. However, Miami collects 33.7 percent of its own misses. Something’s got to give in this contest.
Find Nick Ward
Miami doesn’t have a lot of size down low. Its starting big man, Kamari Murphy, stands 6 feet 8. That’s a welcome change for the undersized Spartans compared to what they dealt with during the Big Ten schedule. However, the Hurricanes bring a lot of length to the perimeter. Davon Reed and Bruce Brown make things tough for opponents on defense as much as they do on offense. If the Spartans can feed Ward and let him go to work, they’ll be in good shape. But post entry won’t be so easy with the long arms of the Miami perimeter hawking MSU’s guards.