DES MOINES, Iowa. — Detroit Free Press reporter Chris Solario breaks down Saturday's East Region second-round game between No. 2 Michigan State basketball and No. 10 Minnesota the 2019 NCAA tournament:
Records: No. 2 seed Michigan State (29-6, 16-4 Big Ten); No. 10 Minnesota Golden Gophers (22-13, 9-11 Big Ten).
Fast facts: Appx. 7:45 p.m., Saturday (CBS), at Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, Iowa. Winner plays next Friday in the Sweet 16 against either No. 3 LSU or No. 6 Maryland in Washington, D.C.
About MSU basketball
Tournament record: 66-31, 32 years (last appearance, 2018).
Scoring: Team (78.7 ppg); Cassius Winston (19.1); Nick Ward (13.8); Matt McQuaid (9.9); Xavier Tillman (9.6); Kenny Goins (8.1).
Rebounds: Team (40.8); Goins (8.9); Tillman (7.2); Ward (6.2); Aaron Henry (3.6); Winston (3.1).
Assists/turnovers: Team (18.7/12.9); Winston (7.5/2.9); Goins (2.3/1.5); McQuaid (2.2/0.9)
3-pointers: Team (.381); Winston (76); McQuaid (67); Goins (50); Ahrens (20); Henry (11).
Last 10: 9-1.
Overview: The Spartans struggled into the middle of the second half against 15-seed Bradley before closing the game with a 22-10 run over the final 6:24 to pull away to a 76-65 victory in Thursday's first round at Wells Fargo Arena. Winston continued to be a strong finisher, scoring eight of his game-high 26 points in that closing stretch. MSU also made 25 of 26 free throws, including 11 of 12 in the final 2:04, and held Bradley scoreless for a 4:39 stretch late in the half while going on a 9-0 knockout run. Tillman had 14 points and 11 rebounds, while McQuaid added 10 points. The Spartans won the only meeting with Minnesota, 79-55, on Feb. 9 in East Lansing.
About Minnesota basketball
Tournament record: 14-12 (8-9 with vacated appearances), 13 years (last appearance, 2017).
Scoring: Team (71.2 ppg); Amir Coffey (16.3); Jordan Murphy (14.9); Daniel Oturu (10.9); Gabe Kalscheur (10.3); Dupree McBrayer (9.2).
Rebounds: Team (37.0); Murphy (11.3); Oturu (7.1); Coffey (3.7); McBrayer (2.3).
Assists/turnovers: Team (14.7/11.8); Coffey (3.2/2.4); McBrayer (3.0/1.2); Isaiah Washington (2.9/1.0); Murphy (2.7/2.3).
3-pointers: Team (.325); Kalscheur (77); McBrayer (42); Coffey (40).
Last 10: 5-5.
Overview: The Gophers got hot in the Big Ten tournament, winning two games including a second upset of Purdue in 10 days, before falling to Michigan in the semifinals. On Thursday, the Gophers upset 7-seed Louisville by shooting 50 percent and making 11 3-pointers despite entering the game 344th nationally in made 3s per game. Freshman guard Kalscheur scored 24 points and made five 3-pointers, while Coffey and Murphy each scored 18 points. It was Richard Pitino's first NCAA win in six seasons in Minneapolis, which is less than four hours from Des Moines. Saturday will be the first time Minnesota and MSU have met in an NCAA tournament and the earliest matchup between two Big Ten teams since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985.
Prediction: MSU 78, Minnesota 70