The Michigan St. Spartans are the very definition of a bubble team. They also strengthened their case for the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night by taking care of business in the first round of the Big Ten Tourney. A loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes would most likely have ended any chance of MSU making the Big Dance, but Draymond Green did his best to make sure that did not happen.
Green contributed 21 points and 14 rebounds in the Spartans' winning effort. Kalin Lucas also added 11 points for MSU. Iowa was coming off an impressive win over #6 Purdue and hoped to use some of that momentum to string together a miracle run through the Big Ten. Unfortunately for the Hawkeyes, the team with more realistic tournament hopes prevailed.
Matt Gatens had a chance to tie the game for Iowa with under 10 seconds left, but his 3-point attempt was off the mark. Gatens finished the game with 13 points on 11 of 20 shooting. Bryce Cartwright led the Hawkeyes with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists.
With the win, Michigan State earned the right to play the Purdue Boilermakers on Friday at 6:30 PM ET in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament.