The Michigan State Spartans ranked 11th in the NCAA Division 1 standings released February 28th.
The Spartans will enter the Big 10 Tournament with an overall record of 26-4 but a conference record of 13-3. Michigan State will also go into the Big 10 Tournament as the No. 1 seed and will face Ohio State in the semifinals.
This season has treated Michigan State very well. They became the Big Ten Champions, earning their first outright Big Ten regular season title. They shared the championship in 1997 and 2005. With this win, the Spartans also became the No. 1 seed going into the Big Ten Tournament. This is the first time Michigan State has ever been the No. 1 seed.
They have become one of ten teams in the country to have at least four wins over Top-25 opponents this season (Florida State, Texas, Iowa, Penn State).
In addition to this, they also achieved their eighth-straight 20-win season with a victory over Purdue. They meet Ohio March 5 in a battle for a spot in the Big Ten Tournament Championship game and automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. Suzy Merchant leads the Spartans, but on court Kalisha Keane and Lykendra Johnson are looked to for wins.
Suzy Merchant enters into her fourth season as Head Coach of Michigan State and recently earned Big Ten Coach of the Year. She has won over 68 games in her first three seasons at Michigan State, giving her the most wins of any previous Spartan coach.
Since she has been in charge, 12 Spartans have earned All-Big Ten recognition, 12 have been named Academic All-Big Ten and two have earned major Big Ten awards. In the 2008-2009 season, Merchant received her first NCAA Tournament win when the Spartans entered as the No. 9 seed and advanced to the Sweet 16.
On the court, Merchant looks to senior Kalisha Keane and junior Lykendra Johnson for leadership and wins. Keane was named Big Ten Player of the Year as well as All-Big Ten First Team. She is the first Spartan to become Player of the Year.
Keane leads the Spartans with 16.2 points per game, second in assists with 2.2 and steals with 2.4, and third in rebounds with 5. Not only can she play, but she is also a good sport and received the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.
Johnson is the second straight Spartan to win the Big Ten Player of the Year Award, following Allyssa DeHaan’s win last year. She leads the Spartans with 2.5 steals, 1.5 blocks, 9 rebounds, and a 49.6 field goal percentage. Johnson was also named the All-Big Ten Second Team.
About The School
Michigan State is located in East Lansing, MI and is known as the nation’s pioneer land-grant university and one of the top research universities. In addition to this it is one the biggest, and greenest campuses in the nation.
There are over 47,000 students from across the world and over 200 programs of study for undergraduates, graduates, and areas of professional study.