Michigan State using doubters as motivation in the NCAA Tournament

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Tom Izzo has heard a lot of things about his team so far this season.

"They've been saying all year, 'This team doesn't have this, doesn't have that,'" Izzo said about the doubters.

The Spartans have proven that narrative to be false, beating Michigan all three times they played, including once in the regular season finale with a Big Ten regular season championship on the line, and another time in Chicago for a the conference tournament championship.

"I don't think we've said, 'I told you so,' but we've understood who we are," Izzo continued. "Our margin of error is smaller than I can put on my finger, but it's been that way all year."

Big Ten Player of the Year and Spartan point guard Cassius Winston feels the same way.

"All year it's been, 'They don't have this' or 'They don't have that' or 'They're going to die out,'" Winston said Wednesday before open practice. "Step by step, we keep proving people wrong, and now we have an opportunity to do it again."

The #2 seed Spartans face #15 seed Bradley on the opening day of the NCAA Tournament at approximately 2:45 p.m. ET at the Wells Fargo Center in Des Moines.

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