Found March 28, 2013 on
PLAYERS: Gary Harris
You’re not going to see a better coaching duel than when Tom Izzo and the third-seeded Michigan State Spartans  face coach Mike Krzyzewski and the second-seeded Duke Blue Devils in a Sweet 16 matchup in Indianapolis this Friday at 9:45 p.m. Coach “K” is 6-1 vs. Izzo, however in the NCAA tournament, both coaches have a record of 1-1. Izzo will have junior point guard Keith Appling at his disposal when he tries to grab his second NCAA tourney victory over Krzyzewski. Appling injured his left knee in the Spartans 65-54 opening-around victory over Valparaiso, and in their third-round win over Memphis, the junior briefly popped out his right shoulder, re-aggravating a previous injury. Gary Harris (AP Photo) Appling had a solid game in the Spartans win over Valpo as he had 15 points while shooting 50 percent and grabbing 6 rebounds, but against Memphis, Appling went 1-of-4 from the field for two points, two turnovers and two assists. If the thrill of a Sweet 16 appearance isn’t enough, Michigan State freshman Gary Harris will be playing approximately 16 miles from his hometown of Fishers, Ind., when the Spartans and Blue Devils face off. Despite being new to the “big dance,” Harris has adjusted well to tournament play and has been one of the Spartans most efficient offensive players. In the Spartans victories, Harris is averaging 16.5 points per game and shooting 50 percent from the field (10-20) and 50 percent from beyond the arc (6-12). While it will be intriguing to see how Harris reacts to playing in his backyard and how Appling bounces back from his game against Memphis, the matchup to watch will be MSU’s big men tandem of Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix vs. the Duke tandem of Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee. Nix is averaging nearly 18 points and 11 rebounds in his last three games while shooting nearly 62 percent from the field. Payne is averaging 10.5 ppg, 7 rpg and 2.5 bpg in the NCAA tournament, and showed a lot of energy on both ends of the floor against Memphis. The front court of the Spartans has been very influential in their success thus far in the tournament, but still, they haven’t faced big men the caliber of Duke’s quite yet. Mason Plumlee has had a solid tournament and an even more impressive 2012-2013 season. The senior from Warsaw, Ind. is averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds per game and in the tournament his numbers are 16.5 ppg and 6.5 rpg. But the most impressive stat has to be his efficiency scoring the basketball thus far in the tournament as Plumlee is shooting 72 percent from the field (13-of-18). His partner in crime, senior Ryan Kelly, has performed well since returning from a serious foot injury that kept him out for nearly two months. Since his return, Kelly is averaging about 13 ppg and 5 rebounds in his six games back, however, he has not had nearly the impact in the NCAA tournament that Duke faithfuls would have hoped. In his first two games Kelly has scored a total of nine points and grabbed a total of 10 rebounds, and in his last outing against Creighton, Kelly went 0-for-5 from the field while only grabbing four rebounds. This game will be a meeting of two of college basketball’s most elite programs and two of the sports best coaches, and while this game is huge for both schools, I think the Spartans need this one a little bit more, and it will show on Friday.  

It's been wild year-long ride for Spartans' Harris

(Eds: With AP Photos.) By MICHAEL MAROT AP Sports Writer Right in the middle of the Walk of Fame at Hamilton Southeastern High School - not far from the championship honors for mock trials, swimming and girl's golf - are two 8-by-13-inch photos. One shows a smiling two-time, all-state football player and the other an unassuming two-time, all-state basketball player. Smiling...

Exclusive: Asia the Elephant makes her pick for the NCAA National Title

Who doesn’t like the elephants at the circus? Better yet, who doesn’t like watching elephants playing hoops? After all, this is a sports site. Anyway, this is Asia the Elephant of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® fame. The circus is in town in Brooklyn, and they took sometime out of their day to shoot hoops and make their own predictions for the NCAA Tournament, before...

Random Athlete of the Day- Kalin Lucas

Kalin Lucas is one of the main reasons Michigan State is known as a March Madness tournament powerhouse. The Spartans made the tournament every year that Lucas led them from the point guard position, and if not for a serious Achilles injury, Lucas could have established himself as one of the best guards in Big Ten history. The four-star ranked point guard made an immediate impact...

Izzo: Son picked Duke over Mich. St.

Michigan State Spartans head basketball coach Tom Izzo recently admitted that his son actually picked Duke over his old man's team in Friday's game.

Seth Curry leads Duke over Michigan St in a bruiser

INDIANAPOLIS, March 30 — Football has laid claim to the ideal that defense wins championships. When two teams shoot under 41 percent from the floor in the NCAA tournament, you have to salute the boys that are bringing the pressure. Please click here to read this story. The post Seth Curry leads Duke over Michigan St in a bruiser appeared first on Players View.

Michigan State's Payne improving on and off court

(Eds: APNewsNow. Will be updated. With AP Photos.) By LARRY LAGE AP Sports Writer Michigan State's Adreian Payne has shown more flashes of his vast potential to boost his stock as an NBA prospect. At least two teams in the league had top executives witness Payne's latest performance. The 6-foot-10, 240-pound forward had 14 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high five blocks...
Spartans News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.