Monte Ross helping Blue Hens to ignore underdog status

By Sean Greene 9:28pm, March 19, 2014
VIDEO: Monte Ross on what he 'told' his team about Michigan State (Courtesy: UD/NCAA)
Most of the world may be picking Michigan State to defeat Delaware Thursday in the NCAA Tournament, but don't tell that to Monte Ross and his Blue Hens.

Delaware's Head Coach joked on ESPN2's "First Take" and then repeated at his day-before press conference in Spokane, that Michigan State may not have even had the bigger victory during Championship Week.

"In their Big10 championship game they had to play against Michigan, which is obviously a rival and a very tough opponent, but in our championship game we had to play against William AND Mary, so we had to play against two guys. So, we're very prepared for this situation that's coming up."

Davon Usher, who spent just this season with Delaware after transferring in from Mississippi Valley State, says that kind of humor doesn't really surprise him.

"He's always that happy guy, real laid back and calm. He's a player's coach. We can relate to him, he can relate to us at sometimes. But when it's time to be serious, he's a very serious person and he trusts us to do the right thing and we trust him to do the right thing."

Those traits figure to help Delaware as they go against a Michigan State team making its 17th straight tournament under the direction of Tom Izzo, who has the 7th best NCAA Tournament winning percentage at .722 (39-15). Duke's Mike Krzyzewski is the only coach with a current longer appearance streak (19).

Michigan State finds itself as the 2nd choice to win the tournament according to many sports books in Las Vegas, and even President Barack Obama chose the Spartans to win the entire tournament, going against the alma mater of his Vice President in the opening round matchup.

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