Spartans relaxed, focused as tournament begins

Posted at 5:41 PM, Mar 17, 2016

If these Spartans seem loose, it's because they are.

In 50-percent of ESPN brackets online, the Spartans are not only favorites to make it to Tom Izzo's eighth Final Four, but to make the championship game. 


High expectations for a group of college kids.

"Five times now (We've been here) so you get kind of comfortable with it," senior Colby Wollenman said.

"We know what this tournament is about and I think we have players that know what it's about, we've got guys who've been to Sweet 16's, Elite 8's, Final Four and the whole coaching staff that has so this is what it's all about," Spartans head coach Tom Izzo added.

The Spartans aren't shying away from championship talk, but they're aware that the bullseye has been planted on their backs. And in a tournament that's known for its upsets, they're fully aware that playing spoiler is all the Blue Raiders are thinking about.

"We're not overlooking anybody, Middle Tennessee is a very good team, they won the Conference USA tournament. We've got our own problems that were going to have and we have to figure them out the best we can," senior forward Matt Costello added.

"It's one and done time, we could be done at any moment so you've got to give it your all and don't have any regrets," senior guard Denzel Valentine added.

Valentine had another moment this week where he backed up his claim for a national title saying 'I've been on a team picked to win it all but fell short, made it to final four while doing the same, this time around, we're going to get it done.'

The Spartans and the Blue Raiders tip off Friday afternoon at approximately 1:45.