Michigan State Basketball: 5 Reasons Spartans Will Beat Duke

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Dec 14, 2013; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans forward Branden Dawson (22) shoots a free throw during the first half against the Oakland Golden Grizzlies at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports


This has to be the worst free throw shooting team in Tom Izzo’s tenure, which is crazy seeing as the veteran head coach was one of the best free throw shooters in his day. Heck, he even shoots free throws by himself every day to perfect the art.

How bad are these Spartans? Let’s just say really, really not good. In fact, out of 351 college basketball teams, Michigan State ranks a lowly 336 in free throw shooting at 63.3 percent. That’s awful, pitiful even. The Spartans have been practicing free throws all season long, but they seem to keep struggling.

However, in their last game, MSU was 15 for 20 on the free throw line — one of the best marks of the season. Izzo even stated after the game that the 75 percent mark on the line against Louisville felt like 98 percent for the Spartans.

The Spartans haven’t been much better for the most part in the NCAA Tournament as they are shooting just 62.5 percent from the line.

In Michigan State’s 11 losses this year, missed free throws cost them more than a few. In fact, MSU lost so many close games in 2014-15 that if it made a decent percentage from the line in those games, the Spartans’ record could be much different.

Let’s go, Izzo. Get your boys to practice their free throws. I mean, they are free.

Next: MSU-Duke Preview, Prediction