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Monday, March 24, 2014


The Michigan State Women's Basketball team showed up to play Sunday afternoon in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, beating the Hampton Pirates, 91-61, and advancing to the second round of NCAA action to be played on Tuesday night.

The final margin was deceiving as the game wasn't really that close. The Spartans came out of the first timeout trailing by a point, then put together the mother-of-all-runs to take a 20-point lead before Hampton knew what hit them. The half-time score was 55-22, and Freshman Aerial Powers already had a double-double in the books.

Senior Analise Pickrel made all eleven of her shots, but it was Powers who hogged the stat sheet. Pickrel finished with 21 points and Powers scored 26 and grabbed 18 rebounds in the mammoth blowout.

MSU had two weeks to think about why Nebraska booted them out of the conference tournament after the Spartans finished ahead of the Cornhuskers to win the regular season championship. Then they did to Hampton what Nebraska had done to them.

The Spartans are now in line to become the next "sacrificial lamb" sent by the NCAA to its inevitable doom, playing on the home-court of the higher-seeded team at the Dean Dome. Whether or not they accept that role will be determined Tuesday night.

The women's tournament features home-court advantages for up to 16 teams each year, based on a system that awards tournament sites to teams with adequate facilities, in exchange for the guarantee to be placed in a home-pod if the team qualifies for the tournament. Michigan State has hosted NCAA games in the past, most recently in 2009, when Suzy Merchant coached the greatest upset in Spartan Basketball history by crushing top-seeded Duke by 14 points at Breslin in the second round.

The Lady Tar Heels entered the tournament ranked #12 in the nation, after finishing 5th in the Atlantic Coast Conference. President Obama has picked North Carolina to beat Michigan State on their way to an Elite Eight appearance next weekend.

The game will tip-off Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. and can be viewed on ESPN-2.

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