Michigan State put together a stellar 29-4 season that has positioned the Spartans for a solid seed in the NCAA Tournament when the brackets are revealed Sunday evening. Although Michigan State came up short in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals against Michigan, the Spartans’ overall body of work should be more than enough to impress the selection committee.
Michigan State won 14 consecutive games from November to January and 13 consecutive games during a stretch from January to March. The Spartans should be a dangerous out in the NCAA Tournament because they rely on a balanced scoring effort.
Five Michigan State players average double figures in scoring, led by sophomore sensation Miles Bridges’ 16.9 points per game. Nick Ward averages 12.6 points per game and leads the team in rebounds at 7.2 per game. Cassius Winston averages 12.6 points, Joshua Langford 11.7 points and Jaren Jackson Jr. 11.3 points. The Spartans also have received solid bench contributions from the likes of Matt McQuaid and Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn Jr., who started for Michigan State’s Final Four team in 2015.
So, where could Michigan State wind up playing in the NCAA Tournament? Here’s a look at projections:
Joe Lunardi of ESPN has Michigan State as a No. 3 seed playing in Wichita, Kan., in the East Region vs. Montana.
Jerry Palm of CBS has Michigan State as a No. 3 seed playing in Wichita, Kan. in the East Region against Montana
Sporting News lists Michigan State as a No. 3 seed.
Tom Izzo has guided Michigan State to seven Final Fours, and the Spartans certainly have the talent to make yet another trip. Michigan State’s only losses this season have come to Duke, Ohio State and Michigan twice. Duke is projected to be a No. 2 seed, Michigan a No. 3 seed and Ohio State a No. 5 seed. Michigan State has victories against North Carolina, Notre Dame and Purdue, among others.
Bridges is the type of player who can carry a team to the final weekend of the college basketball season. But several players are capable of contributing in any given game, which should make Michigan State a team to watch in the NCAA Tournament.