The Spartans are a Division 1 NCAAB (national college athletics association basketball) team and are based in the Breslin Student Events Center. 
The Spartans play in the Big Ten Conference of the NCAAB. This year the Spartans have been given a 7th Seed Spot in the NCAA Tournament, March Madness.

This is the 24th year in a row that the Spartans have made it to March Madness. 

They are the former team of NBA SuperStar Magic Johnson. 


Today, we are going to take a deeper dive into the team, their history, their star players, and some of their rivals. We will also be talking about how the team is expected to perform in March Madness this year. 


If you are looking for the best March Madness betting odds, you can find them here. 


History Of The Club 

The Spartans were first formed in 1898 as the male basketball team for the Michigan Agricultural College (which is now known as The University of Michigan State). This makes them one of the oldest teams in the NCAAB league. 

The Spartans have won their conference season 16 times (1957, 1959, 1967, 1978, 1979, 1990, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2018, 2019, 2020), their conference tournament 6 times (1999, 2000, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2019), and the NCAA tournament twice (1979, 2000). 

Fans consider the era of current coach – Tom Izzo – to be their most successful of all time. 


This Season’s Performance 

Despite having a middling 2021-22 season, the Spartans have managed to qualify for March Madness for the 24th year in a row. 

The Spartans play in the Big Ten conference and fished with a record of 11-9 (win-loss), which put them at 7th place overall. The majority of the Spartan’s victories this year have been over the teams sitting below them in the table – such as Maryland and Minnesota. 

However, on March 11th, they shocked everyone by beating top of the table Wisconsin 69-63. Marcus Bingham Jr. scored 21 points, and Tyson Walker scored 11 points that day. 


Star Players 

Tyson Walker

Photo: USA Today

Tyson Walker is a sophomore who moved to Michigan State from Northeastern to play for the Spartans. He was offered places at Maryland, Kansas, Texas, Miami (Florida), and Vanderbilt but chose the Spartans. 

At Northeastern, Walker averaged 18.8 points, 4.8 assists, and 2.4 steals per game. He was named CAA Rookie of the Week four times and ended up being named CAA Defensive Player of the Year. 

Walker was responsible for the final three-pointer scored against Purdue in February. This secured the game for the Spartans. He was also instrumental in their victory against Wisconsin. 

Marcus Bingham Jr.

Bingham is a Junior in the Spartans team and plays as a power forward. Last season he averaged 3.5 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game. This season he averaged 9.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 0.3 assists per game. 

In the shock victory over Wisconson, Bingham scored 21 points out of the 69 that the team scored that day. He also scored 9 points and made an assist when the Spartans beat Maryland the week after. 

Although Bingham has only started 5 games this season, he has still had a huge impact on the team. 


Coach 

Tom Izzo has been coaching the Spartans for the last 27 years and has recently broken the record as the most successful basketball coach in the Big Ten. He has won 663 games with the club. 

Before working for Michigan State, Izzo worked as an assistant coach at Northern Michigan. He was there for four years. 

Since Izzo joined the side, the team has made it to 25 out of 27 March Madness tournaments and has won their conference season 10 times. He has the 4th best record of all the coaches in the NCAAB. 

The only coach that could possibly compete with Izzo is Pete Newell, who won March Madness with the Spartans and coached Team USA to Olympic Gold. 


Retired Numbers 

The Spartans have 9 retired numbers: 

  • 4 Scott Skiles, PG, 1982–86
  • 12 Mateen Cleaves, G, 1996–2000
  • 21 Steve Smith, SG, 1987–91
  • 23 Draymond Green, PF, 2008–12
  • 24 Johnny Green, SF,1955–58
  • 24 Shawn Respert, PG, 1991–95
  • 31 Jay Vincent, SF, 1978–81
  • 32 Greg Kelser, SF, 1976–79
  • 33 Magic Johnson, PG, 1977–79
  • 42 Morris Peterson, SG, SF, 1995–2000

March Madness 2022 

This season will be the 24th NCAA tournament in a row that the Spartans have played in. 

In 2021 they were one of the First Four teams to get knocked out of the tournament. They were in the 11th Seed bracket last year. This year they are in the 7th Seed group, so that they will have a much nicer opening match (and honestly, a nicer tournament overall).  


After recent wins over Wisconsin and Purdue, some think the Spartans have the potential to repeat their 2019 run to the Final 4.
Or even be runners-up like they were in 2009.

Featured Image: USA Today
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