For the first time since 2019, the Michigan State women's basketball team is going dancing.
This time the Spartans will be traveling to Texas after being selected by the NCAA Tournament as a No. 10 seed and will face No. 7 seed Iowa State in the first round on Monday at 6 p.m. on ESPN.
The Spartans solidified their tournament placement during the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis with wins over Penn State and then-No. 9 Indiana before losing to Iowa in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals.
“We have a really positive offensive efficiency rating,” Merchant said. “I think we're top 10 in the country in assists. We share the ball. We run. Our pace is good. We have multiple scorers. We have an inside-outside game. We’ve played a great schedule. I don’t know what our NET was, but I think it’s in the thirties now, so we’re an NCAA Tournament team. I don’t know if you have to make a pitch for that, but I do think our kids’ body of work has been good over the course of the year.”
The Cyclones finished the season 16-10 with a notable AP Top 25 win over then-No. 6 Baylor, who won the last National Championship.
With a win over the Cyclones, MSU would move on to the second round. That would match their last outing in the NCAA Tournament when the No. 9 seed Spartans defeated Central Michigan in the first round but lost in the second round in a blowout defeat at the hands of the eventual NCAA Tournament runner-up Notre Dame, who was playing at home during the game.
Nia Clouden, Tory Ozment, Cook, Laurel Jacqmain and Claire Hendrickson are the only members of the MSU roster to have appeared in the NCAA Tournament, all doing so in 2019. MSU earned the berth to the Big Dance shortly after they defeated Indiana in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament.
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