â€œWeâ€™ll consider anything less than a national championship a failure,â€ forward Draymond Green said today.â†µ
Michigan State made the national title game two years ago, but was blown out by eventual champion North Carolina at Ford Field in Detroit. Last season, Butler shocked MSU with a 52-50 victory in the Final Four en route to the title game.â†µ
The Spartans will likely be one of the preseason favorites to win it all. MSU returns seven of their top nine scorers from last season, including guard Kalin Lucas, who was injured during the Spartans’ tournament run last year.â†µ
A tough schedule early on though could bring those expectations down a bit.â†µ
Michigan State will play in the Maui Invitational, where the field includes Kentucky, Washington, Oklahoma, Virginia and Connecticut. The Spartans will play at Duke, against Syracuse in Madison Square Garden and then wrap up the nonconference slate against Texas at home.â†µ
That shouldn’t stop the Spartans from challenging for the Big Ten championship. Co-champions Purdue and Ohio State will both be missing key pieces from 2010. OSU’s Evan Turner is now in the NBA and Purdue’s Robbie Hummel tore his ACL for the second time in a year and will miss the entire season.