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Michigan State women led by a natural leader
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan State women's basketball coach Suzy Merchant has helped the Spartans match a school record with a fifth straight trip to the NCAA tournament.
No one who knows her is surprised.
Merchant's high school coach in Traverse City recalls Merchant calling her every day for a year when she was in middle school to talk about the game.
Oakland University basketball coach Greg Kampe says he knew Merchant was special from the moment he hired her to be an assistant for the Golden Grizzlies women's basketball team.
Michigan State President Lou Anna K. Simon, meanwhile, marvels at Merchant's toughness, tenacity and spirit.
The fifth-seeded Spartans will open the NCAA tournament on Saturday against 12th-seeded Marist in College Park, Md.