Top players: Adreian Payne (16.6 points, 7.3 rebounds), Gary Harris (16.9 points) and Keith Appling (11.7 points, 4.6 assists) for Michigan State; Malcolm Brogdon (12.6 points), Joe Harris (11.8 points) and Akil Mitchell (6.9 points, 7.0 rebounds) for Virginia.
How they got here: ACC champion Virginia beat Coastal Carolina (70-59) in the second round and Memphis (78-60) in the third round; Big Ten champion Michigan State beat Delaware (93-78) and Harvard (80-73).
What to watch: Virginia is a tough defensive team and Tom Izzo's teams are always physical, so this promises to be a grind-it-out game. The difference-maker could be Payne, a 6-foot-10 senior capable of scoring down low or from three-point range.
Of note: Throughout Izzo's tenure at Michigan State, four-year players have made at least one trip to the Final Four. The Spartans are trying to keep that streak alive for Payne and Appling. … Izzo is 2-6 lifetime at Madison Square Garden. … Virginia coach Tony Bennett is the son of former Wisconsin and Washington State coach Dick Bennett and the brother of Northern Illinois women's coach Kathi Bennett.Copyright © 2015, CT Now