INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WXYZ) - Michigan State made the four-hour ride from East Lansing to Indianapolis tonight and has arrived for Friday's Sweet Sixteen matchup against Duke.
The Spartans and Blue Devils will enter Friday's game evenly matched. Even as a three-seed, MSU has played close to home on each of the first two weekends. Duke traveled last week to Philadelphia last week to face Albany and Creighton.
"You know we were driving in and I see Lucas Oil Stadium and that thing has had such great memories for me," said Spartans Head Coach Tom Izzo. "I gotta keep saying to myself, 'Remember this is a privilege, remember this isn't the norm' even though it seems like it's been. It's so exciting, there's nothing like it."
Izzo said the team will briefly meet tonight before the players are allowed to walk around the city a little bit and get something to eat after the long bus ride.
"Tomorrow, it will be a little film session, eat breakfast then we'll go shoot for the media event and then we'll meet with the media and then we'll have a little practice," said Izzo. "Then all of a sudden it's gametime, although Friday's gonna be a long day not playing until 9:45 at night."
This matchup spurs memories of the last time Michigan State and Duke played in the Sweet Sixteen .
In 2005, the Spartans earned a fifth seed in the South Regional and started the tournament with a win in Worcester, MA over Old Dominion. That same night, Vermont upset the #4 seed, Syracuse, setting up a date with MSU in the second round.
The Spartans easily disposed of Vermont, setting up a date with Duke in Austin, TX for the right to play in the Elite Eight.
Led by Paul Davis and Maurice Ager, MSU pulled off the upset of the top-seeded Blue Devils, who entered the game with a 27-5 record, the same record they'll take into Friday's game at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The battle of wits between Tom Izzo and Mike Krzyzewski will undoubtedly be a focal point entering Friday's game, as will Gary Harris, who played his high school basketball in Indiana.
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