TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — It’s March, so naturally Michigan State and UCLA are gearing up for runs in the NCAA tournament.
The tradition-rich programs, which have combined for 26 trips to the Final Four and 13 national titles, meet in the second round of the Southeast region Thursday night, each hoping to salvage seasons marked by inconsistency.
It’s the first ever meeting in the NCAAs between the 10th-seeded Spartans (19-14) and No. 7 seed Bruins (22-10), which is difficult to fathom considering the success they’ve had the past decade-plus on college basketball’s biggest stage.
Michigan State has been to six Final Fours under coach Tom Izzo since 1999, including the past two; UCLA made three consecutive Final Fours from 2006-2008 under Ben Howland.
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