Michigan State as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament will be predicated on two factors.
The Spartans, obviously, must win the Big Ten Tournament. It also depends on how much validity the selection committee gives the Big Ten.
The conference has been taking a beating annually in the Big Ten-ACC challenge. Its performance in the NCAA Tournament has been spotty in recent years.
That doesn’t help MSU’s cause. It was early in the season, when the Spartans were floundering without Goran Suton, but they were blown out by both North Carolina and Maryland. That doesn’t help, either.
State is ranked in the Top 10 nationally, and has been for much of the season, but only two other Big Ten teams are ranked in the Top 25 - Purdue and Illinois. Both are way down the list - and justifiably so.
The Big East and ACC are just stronger conferences overall. The Pac 10, honestly, is underrated, but there is no clear-cut best team that has emerged. The Big 12 remains formidable, but the Spartans got their marquee non-conference victories over Texas and Kansas.
Where, honestly, does the Big Ten rate these days?
State could certainly make a claim ahead of Memphis. The Big Ten is definitely stronger than Conference USA. Then again, weren’t the Spartans embarrassingly run out of the gym by the Tigers in last year’s NCAAs?
I do feel this about Michigan State: The Spartans chances of reaching the Final Four are as good as any team - regardless the conference.
Tom Izzo has done an excellent job of molding this team into his imagine. The Spartans play extremely hard. They rebound especially well. They are exceptionally scrappy.
If the Spartans run the table in the Big Ten Tournament, I can’t see how they don’t deserve a No. 1 seed.
Whether they actually get it or not will then depend on how much Big Ten titles are worth these days.
- The Red Wings played poorly defensively Saturday night against Columbus, but Chris Osgood’s performance wasn’t good. Seven goals? That’s not getting it done. It was definitely a step back for him - and the Red Wings. It is looking more and more like it will Ty Conklin or bust come playoff time.
- If Michigan wins a game in the Big Ten Tournament, the Wolverines belong in the NCAA Tournament. They beat Duke and UCLA. They won at Minnesota with a lot on the line in their regular season finale. Those are meaningful victories that can’t be ignored.
- I don’t why, but it made me laugh the other night watching the World Baseball Classic. It was Venezuela vs. Italy and they were pitching around Nick Punto - one of the best hitters on the Italian team. I also got a chuckle out of seeing Carlos Guillen take Jason Grilli deep.
Labels: Tom Izzo Chris Osgood Nick Punto Jason Grilli Carlos Guillen Michigan State Spartans Michigan Wolverines