Under-the-radar bracket intel

These quiet storylines could help make or break your bracket

Updated: March 19, 2014, 8:41 AM ET
By Jeff Goodman | ESPN Insider

Keith ApplingAP Photo/Charlie NeibergallSenior point guard Keith Appling is not only fully healthy, but extremely vocal.

Under-the-radar stories are everywhere heading into the NCAA tournament, and being in the know can give you a winning edge in your bracket pool. Here we'll take a look at secret storylines that can provide vital information for anyone making his or her picks.

Here are eight notes of inside info you need to beat your buddies or co-workers this year.


The Michigan State Spartans are back to firing on all cylinders

The Spartans have dealt with injuries all season, with the most important being the wrist injury that has affected senior point guard Keith Appling. I spoke to one guard who went up against Appling this past week and he said that the Spartans' floor leader is 100 percent, and was not only pushing the ball well, but was also extremely vocal.

"I didn't even notice anything with his wrist," the player said. "He looks healthy and he's making shots. He's not taking a ton, but he's playing like a true point guard -- which is all they need." Tom Izzo plus talent and health usually means a deep tourney run, and maybe even a national title.