Originally written on The B1g Time  |  Last updated 11/11/14

NCAA Tournament Preview: Michigan State vs. Valparaiso











The Brandon Wood Bowl, where Michigan State will take on the team Brandon Wood transferred from when he came to MSU. Wood who is playing professional in Hungary will not be able to make the game, but his father will be in attendance. Wood was also given the day off from practice so that he could watch his two former teams play. Which team is Brandon rooting for? Apparently: He will stay neutral.

Three Things to Watch:

1. Ryan Broekhoff: If you haven’t seen him play before; this kid  loves to launch the three.  Broekhoff can also pass and rebound the ball, he does it all for Valparaiso. If Valparaiso has any chance at winning it will be because Broekhoff is draining some threes, rebounding the ball and dishing to teammates. I doubt that happens, but it is March…

2. Branden Dawson’s First Tournament Game: Well Branden has averaged 3.6 points per game over the last 5 games, which is way below his season average of 9.4 points. Where has BJ gone over the last few games? Some would say he hasn’t been the same since he left the game briefly against Michigan in their first meeting. But it’s tournament time and Dawson surely is excited to get a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament after tearing his ACL in last years Big Ten Tournament final. The question is: Can Dawson turn that excitement into positive plays on the court, or will that excitement turn him into “Butterhands” Dawson?

3. Keith Appling: Which Keith Appling will come to the NCAA Tournament? Can he put a string of games together where he plays well on both sides of the ball? If he can Michigan State will be extremely dangerous, but if he can’t MSU may be in big trouble. Appling has been working on his three point shot quite a bit lately, and it really showed against OSU. If he can continue to shoot it well and get back to his old defensive ways MSU may make some noise. 

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