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Michigan State Basketball: Sweet 16 facts to know about

Here are some relevant facts to know about the Sweet 16.

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Michigan State basketball
© Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

After getting the job done in the Round of 32, Michigan State basketball will go head-to-head against Kansas State for the program’s 21st Sweet 16 appearance.

Michigan State basketball defeated the Marquette Golden Eagles 69-60 on Sunday night to advance to the Sweet 16, their first since 2019. After securing a record 15th Sweet 16 for Tom Izzo, the Spartans will face the Kansas State Wildcats on Thursday, March 23, at 6:30 p.m. ET at Madison Square Garden.

While neither Michigan State nor Kansas State were projected to advance this far, both have defied the naysayers and one will continue their postseason journey into the Elite Eight.

Here are some Sweet 16 facts revolving around the Michigan State Spartans and their opponents, Kansas State Wildcats.

  • Only 19 percent of 7-seeds reach the Sweet 16.
  • There’s a 43 percent chance not a single 7-seed advances past the Round of 32.
  • Since 2005, only four times has a 7-seed made it past their Sweet 16 matchup and into the Elite Eight.
    1. 2012 — Florida Gators (7) vs. Marquette Golden Eagles (3): Marquette -2
    2. 2014 — UConn Huskies (7) vs. Iowa State Cyclones (3): Iowa State -1
    3. 2015 — Michigan State Spartans (7) vs. Oklahoma Sooners (3): Michigan State-2
    4. 2017 — South Carolina Gamecocks (7) vs. Baylor Bears (3): Baylor -3
  • In only one of those four matchups was the 7-seed favored over their opponent, Michigan State (-2) vs Oklahoma in 2015. Michigan State is currently favored over Kansas State by two.
  • Lower-seeded teams favored in the Sweet 16 are 11-12 outright and 9-14 ATS since 1985.
  • Tom Izzo is 6-3 against the spread and 8-1 outright as favorites in the Sweet 16.
  • Kansas State is 3-0 all-time in Sweet 16 appearances.

Michigan State has a history of making it to the Sweet 16 as a 7-seed and it did so in 2015 as Travis Trice and Denzel Valentine led the way. They beat a 2-seed in Virginia in the second round and went on to beat 3-seeded Oklahoma in the Sweet 16 and then 4-seeded Louisville in the Elite Eight.

The similarities between that run and this year’s run are wild.

Writer and contributor for Spartan Shadows. Tyler Dutton, a graduate of Michigan State, is a college and professional basketball specialist with over four years of experience writing on both the Spartans and Pistons.

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