The return of Miles Bridges meant that Michigan State is going to enter the 2017-18 season with lofty expectations — perhaps higher than any other college basketball team.
As it becomes clearer which players are turning pro, who’s coming back to school and which top recruits are going where, the Spartans sit in great shape. Tom Izzo’s team returns stellar sophomores-to-be in Bridges, Nick Ward and Cassius Winston. They also add two highly ranked recruits in Jaren Jackson and Xavier Tillman.
Put it all together, and Michigan State is going to be one of the favorites for the national title next year. The Spartans haven’t finished the season No. 1 since 2000, but there’s a good chance they could start there come November.
Rob Dauster of NBC Sports released a preseason top 25 on Monday, and Michigan State was No. 1. The Spartans beat out Arizona, North Carolina, Kansas and Kentucky for the top spot.
College basketball rankings in May don’t mean a whole lot, but it shows just how big a target could be on the Spartans next season.