There were times at the end of the regular season when people were asking about Michigan State. Despite a strong start to the season, the Spartans began crumbling — putting their NCAA Tournament hopes in some jeopardy at one point.

As mistakes loomed, turnovers piled up and shots clanked off the rim, Michigan State dropped 7 of its final 9 regular season contests before getting a pair of big wins in the B1G Tournament. That success seemed to translate to March Madness on Friday night.

Caesars Online Casino Michigan
Slots, Roulette, Blackjack and more games.
MI only. 21+. New users only. Gambling Problem? Call the Michigan Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-270-7117.
$200 Deposit Match + $10 Bonus


Michigan State had its hands full with a quality Davidson team in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Spartans made just enough plays and got a career night from Joey Hauser — scoring 27 points and grabbing 8 rebounds — to register a 74-73 win over Davidson.

The biggest key? The Spartans ended the game with just 7 total turnovers.

“It was a helluva basketball game,” Tom Izzo said, per Chris Solari of the Detroit Free Press. “We made our share of mistakes, and we made our share of great plays. I thought it was a little bit of a roller coaster, but that’s a helluva team we beat.”

Because of the way Michigan State closed out its regular season, many thought Davidson had an excellent chance to advance to the Round of 32. But Izzo’s bunch rallied together and advanced to the next round.

Next up is Duke, a fitting game between two legendary coaches as Mike Krzyzewski winds down his career in the profession. It should make for a fun Sunday evening matchup.

“I’m just proud of the job they did. I’m proud of what they came back from from three weeks ago,” Izzo said. “Who knows? Now we get a shot at something against a really, really, really good team and see what happens.”

Michigan State and Duke are scheduled for a 5:15 p.m. ET tip-off on CBS.