Spartans Earn NCAA Bid For 11th Straight Year

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EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State earned its 11th consecutive bid to the NCAA Tournament and will play 12th-seeded Temple (21-12) in the first round Thursday at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colo. The Spartans, a No. 5 seed in the South Region, enter the tournament with a 25-8 record.

Temple won the Atlantic 10 Tournament title game over Saint Joseph's on Saturday, 69-64. The Owls finished second in the regular season standings with an 11-5 record. Junior guard and first-team All-Atlantic 10 selection Dionte Christmas leads the team in scoring with 20.2 points per game.

The only previous meeting between the two schools in the NCAA Tournament arrived in 2001 when the top-seeded Spartans beat the No. 11 seed Owls, 69-62, in the South Regional final.

MSU's streak of NCAA Tournament appearances is the longest streak among Big Ten schools and fifth longest in the nation. Only Arizona (24), Kansas (19), Kentucky (17) and Duke (13) have longer current streaks. It is also the second longest streak in Big Ten history. Indiana appeared in 18 consecutive tournaments between 1986 and 2003.

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