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LSJ columnist Graham Couch, Freep beat writer Chris Solari and Freep columnist Shawn Windsor dig into all of this MSU basketball
     Graham Couch, Lansing State Journal

[Photo:KirthmonFDozierDetroitFreePress)

DES MOINES, Iowa – Breaking down Friday's East Sweet 16 game between no. 2 Michigan State basketball and no. 3 Louisiana State in the 2019 NCAA tournament:

Records: No. 2 seed Michigan State (30-6, 16-4 Big Ten); No. 3 LSU (28-6, 16-2 Southeastern Conference.

Fast facts: Friday (time / TV TBD), at Capital One Center, Washington, DC Winner plays next Sunday in the Eight against the regional semifinal winner of Duke vs. UCF vs. Virginia Tech / Liberty.

About MSU

Tournament record: 67-31, 32 years (last appearance, 2018).

Scoring: Team (78.5 ppg); Cassius Winston (18.9), Nick Ward (13.7), Matt McQuaid (9.9), Xavier Tillman (9.8), Kenny Goins (8.1), Aaron Henry (5.6).

Rebounds: Team (40.9); Goins (8.9); Tillman (7.2); Ward (6.2); Henry (3.8); Winston (3.2).

Assists / turnovers: Team (18.6 / 13.0); Winston (7.5 /2.9); Goins (2.3 / 1.6); McQuaid (2.2 / 0.9)

3-pointers: Team (.381); Winston (77); McQuaid (68); Goins (52); Kyle Ahrens (20); Henry (12); Gabe Brown (12).

Last 10: 9-1.

Michigan State's Aaron Henry (11) dunks against Minnesota during the first half of a second round of the NCAA tournament game at Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday, March 23, 2019. [Photo: Nati Harnik, AP] The Spartans defeated 10-seed Minnesota 70-50 on Saturday night in Des Moines, Iowa, to advance to coach Tom Izzo's 14th Sweet 16 in the past 22 seasons. It's their first trip to the second weekend since the 2015 team went on a final four run. Joshua Langford and Kyle Ahrens on the bench, the Spartans had six players score between 9 and 13 points apiece against the Gophers. MSU outrebounded Minnesota, 42-19, and held the Gophers to just 2 of 22 shooting from 3-point range and 21.9 percent overall. Turnovers, though, once again became an issue as the Spartans committed 22 that led to 26 Minnesota points, the highest total in both categories since a loss at Illinois on Feb. 5 and their third 20-plus turnover game of the season. MSU averaged 10.8 giveaways in its past eight games, including a season-low six against Michigan on Feb. 24 and nine in each of its past two games.

More: Michigan State has what it takes to beat Duke, says: Reggie Miller

More: Michigan State basketball's Aaron Henry undeterred after berating

More: Windsor: MSU back where it belongs in the sweet 16. The streak is over

About LSU

Tournament record: 26-24, 22 years (last appearance, 2015).

Scoring: Team (80.9 ppg); Tremont Waters (15.0); Naz Reid (13.7); Skylar Mays (13.6); Javonte Smart (11.4); Kavell Bigby-Williams (7.8).

Rebounds: Team (38.9); Reid (7.2); Bigby-Williams (6.7); Emmitt Williams (5.4); Darius Days (4.0).

Assists / turnovers: Team (13.1 / 13.1); Waters (5.9 / 3.5); Smart (2.4 / 1.9); Mays (2.1 / 1.2).

3-pointers: Team (.320); Mays (54); Waters (52); Smart (41); Reid (28); Days (25); Marlon Taylor (15).

Last 10: 8-2.

LSU guard Tremont Waters (3) makes the game-winning shot of Maryland's Jalen Smith (25) defends during The second helped in a second-round game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament at Jacksonville, Fla., Saturday, March 23, 2019. (Will Dickey / The Florida Times-Union via AP) (Photo: The Associated Press)

Overview: The NCAA tournament in a more precarious position than the Tigers, whose head coach Will Wade was suspended in college basketball. Wade reportedly joined LS to win the SEC regular-season championship. Tony Benford, then pulled off two close wins in the first two rounds in Jacksonville, Fla. – 79-74 over 14-seeded Yale on Thursday and then eking out a 69 -67 victory over 6-seed Maryland on a Waters drive layup with 1.6 seconds to play. The Tigers advanced despite shooting 36.9 percent against the Terrapins and making only 7 of 24 3-point attempts while getting outrebounded 42-34. Mays, a 6-4 junior guard, scored 16 on 4 of 12 shooting, while 6-10 freshman Waters added 13 points and 5-11 sophomore guard Waters added 12 points. LSU went eight players deep in the game, with each playing 12 or more minutes.

Pick: MSU 73, LSU 69

Contact Chris Solari at csolari@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @chrissolari . Read more on the Michigan State Spartans and sign up for our Spartans newsletter.


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