The NCAA tournament officially gets going for Michigan State shortly.
With that in mind, in today’s LSJ we took a look at some of the top NCAA tournament players in the history of MSU men’s basketball with this being the 75th anniversary of the event.
The team of top five players we came up with consisted of Magic Johnson, Greg Kelser, Mateen Cleaves, Morris Peterson and Andre Hutson. All five played key roles on championship teams for the Spartans.
Who would your top five be? We had a poll up earlier in the week and below are some notable performers from the NCAA tournament that we considered when putting together a top five.
Also for some pre-game reading Solari has a good piece about MSU and the Detroit connection.
Johnson led MSU to its first national title and was most outstanding player of Final Four after outplaying Indiana State’s Larry Bird in the 1979 championship game
Was a part of two Final Four teams and was the Most Outstanding Player in 2000 after leading Spartans to second national title
Hutson played in three Final Fours (1999, 2000, 2001) and is MSU’s all-time leader in scoring (232 points) and rebounding (128) in the NCAA Tournament
Kelser had a MSU NCAA Tournament-record 34 points and was the MVP of the Mideast Regional and then also named All-Tournament in the Spartans’ 1979 title run
Green was a part of MSU’s first Final Four in 1957 and averaged 19.7 rebounds in six career NCAA Tournament games
Peterson was instrumental in a pair of Final Four runs and was the Most Outstanding Player in the regionals in 1999 and 2000
Played on three Final Four teams and was on the All-Tournament team in 2000 and the South Regional Most Outstanding Player in 2001
Summers ranks as one of the Spartans top scorers in NCAA Tournament history and was part of back-to-back Final Fours and was the Most Outstanding Player of the 2010 Midwest Regional.
Green played a key role off the bench in Final Four runs in 2009 and 2010 and joins Magic Johnson as the only Spartan players with two triple-doubles in the NCAA Tournament
Smith helped MSU to its first No. 1 seed in school history in 1990 and led a Sweet 16 run that ended with his 32 -point performance in an 81-80 overtime loss to Georgia Tech in the regional semifinal.
Skiles averaged nearly 25 points while leading the Spartans to the Sweet 16 in 1986