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Michigan State Earns Huge Win Against Iowa

Most prognosticators have Tom Izzo's Michigan State squad just on the right side of the NCAA Tournament bubble. Thursday afternoon, the Spartans made sure they stayed there as they took down Iowa 66-61 in their first round game of the Big Ten Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Draymond Green led Sparty with a massive day of 21 points and 14 rebounds. Guard Kalin Lucas contributed 11 points and Keith Appling scored 10 points on 3-5 shooting off the bench.

Matt Gatens and Bryce Cartwright paced the Hawkeyes in scoring with 14 and 13 points respectively. Cartwright also led a potent Iowa attack on the boards pulling down a team high seven rebounds. Overall, the Hawkeyes dominated the Spartans 37-29 on the glass.

Michigan State outshot Iowa, however, and overcame 15 turnovers to pull out the game late. Sparty trailed by as many as seven late in the game, but at that point they tightened the screws on defense, forcing Iowa into bad shots that resulted in a long drought for the Hawkeyes, which proved to be the difference.

Michigan State advances to face second-seeded Purdue on Friday in Indianapolis. With a sub-.500 record, Iowa's season is likely over.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.