Michigan State Will Be Without Kalin Lucas in Sweet-16

March 22nd, 2010-  By Bryan Cross

The Michigan State Spartans have been one of the most successful teams over the last 12 years in the NCAA Tournament, that includes six trips to the final four.  This year, they once again have advanced past the second round on into the Sweet-16.  However, they enter the match up against Northern Iowa without key player Kalin Lucas.

Tom Izzo, head coach of the Spartans, stated that there is a “90 percent chance” that tests will show a torn Achilles tendon in his left heel.  That type of injury could sideline Lucas for up to six months.

“Even if it’s just a sprain, he wouldn’t play” Izzo said in reference to their Sweet-16 game.

In his stead, Korie Lucious took the court and knocked down the game-winning 3-pointer that propelled the Spartans over Maryland 85-83 in the game on Sunday.

This is the ninth appearance for Michigan State in the Sweet-16 in the last 13 seasons.  That type of play is second only to the Duke Blue Devils in that time-frame.

Michigan State’s focus remains squarely on the Panthers, who are fresh off a victory over No.1 overall seed Kansas on Saturday.

“We can’t look at whoever lost,” Michigan State player Durrell Summers remarked. “We got to advance and prepare for Northern Iowa.”

In addition to Lucas however, the Spartans could potentially be without Chris Allen, and Delvon Roe.  Raymar Morgan also played against the Terrapins with a broken tooth.

“We’ve got a ‘MASH’ unit,” Izzo said of his team’s status. “The bottom of Chris’ foot is purple, Delvon is playing on one leg and Raymar looks like a hockey player with his tooth cut in half. We think we can get Chris back — after showing toughness we’ve never seen from him — and we’ll hold Delvon out of practice to let him rest as much as we can.”

The Spartans lose their single most productive player on the floor in Lucas.  He led the team in minutes, points per game and assists per game on the year.

“We’re going to need everybody we have in uniform to step up,” Izzo remarked. “There were times we had two walk-ons, a freshman and a sophomore on the court Sunday and that probably won’t be the last time in the tournament. Northern Iowa is good, but thank God they’re not a team that presses like Maryland.”

USA Online Sportsbooks have installed the Spartans at +2500 to claim the 2009-10 NCAA Basketball Championship.

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