Michigan State back in Final Four

Published 8:03 am Thursday, April 4, 2019

EAST LANSING — For the 10th time in school history, the Michigan State men’s basketball team will compete in the Final Four in Minneapolis, Minnesota Saturday night.

The Spartans, the No. 2 seed, upset No. 1 overall seed and tournament favorite Duke 68-67 in Washington, D.C. Sunday afternoon to punch its ticket to the Final Four.

Michigan State will face No. 3 seed Texas Tech in the second national semifinal at approximately 8:49 p.m. on CBS on Saturday.

The Spartans, who were the regular season Big Ten Conference co-champions with Purdue, and the Big Ten Tournament champions, are making their 33rd appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo has led the Spartans to the Final Four more times since 1999 than any coach in college basketball.

The Spartans will be seeking their third national championship having won titles in 1979 and 2000.

This is Michigan State’s first appearance in the Final Four since 2015. Izzo has led the Spartans to eight Final Fours.

The first national semifinal will pit No. 1 seed Virginia against No. 5 seed Auburn. Tipoff is set for 6:09 p.m.


• With Michigan State in the Final Four, current Big Ten programs have combined for 53 Final Four appearances, including eight in the last 10 seasons and 10 in the last 13 years.

• Since the inception of the Big Ten Tournament in 1998, the conference has now sent 18 teams to the Final Four and eight have advanced to the NCAA Championship Game.

• Over the last 15 years, the Big Ten has sent 12 different teams to the Final Four, including at least one participant in six of the past eight years. Illinois and Michigan State advanced to the Final Four in 2005, followed by Ohio State in 2007 and 2012, the Spartans in 2009, 2010, 2015 and 2019, Michigan in 2013 and 2018 and Wisconsin in 2014 and 2015.

• Since 2005, a Big Ten program has advanced to the NCAA Championship game six times with five different teams appearing in the final. Illinois (2005), Michigan (2013, 2018), Michigan State (2009), Ohio State (2007) and Wisconsin (2015).