Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Sport | By Floyd Cook

Michigan State Basketball: Nightmare matchups in 2018 NCAA Tournament

Michigan State Basketball: Nightmare matchups in 2018 NCAA Tournament

The NCAA Tournament selection committee didn't seem to do Bucknell any favors Sunday night when the bracket was announced.

But the show must go on, if only so office poolsters have a valid excuse for the decline in their production at work.

Since their most recent national title in 2000, the Michigan State Spartans have been back to Final Four five times (2001, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2015), and they have only reached the title game in one of those five trips.

The Bears won their last 13 on their way to the 10 seed - which is higher than most mid-major conference teams get. Throughout the year, they've had trouble dealing with quick guards and teams that play tight defense. Michigan State is from the Midwest. If the Wolverines are annoyed about that, this should balance it out: The No. 1 seed in their region is Xavier, the weakest of the four. From 2012 to 2014, the No. 12s were 8-4 in their openers.

(5) Clemson vs. (12) New Mexico State - I smell UPSET here!

MI accepted an invitation to the WNIT the previous four years since last earning an NCAA Tournament berth in head coach Kim Barnes Arico's first season. MSU is motivated to excel in March after going one-and-done in the 2016 Big Ten dance and getting dumped in the second round past year.

More news: Stanford falls in quarterfinals of Pac-12 tournament

Sending multiple teams to San Antonio would likely overshadow a season when the Big Ten was arguably the worst from top to bottom in recent memory, but breaking the conference's national title slump would be an even bigger statement. No. 11 Arizona State/Syracuse play-in game. Sophomore Miles Bridges put the team on his shoulders to keep Michigan State in the conversation and knocked down the tiebreaking dagger with just 2.7 seconds left. Two No. 7s knocked off No. 2s in the second round previous year, SC over Duke and MI over Louisville.

MI (20-8) is coming off a WNIT championship a year ago when it won a school-record 28 games.

All tournament paths are not created equal: Sometimes it's not who you play but where you play.

Now, can the Wolverines prove their worth in Wichita, Kan? Should it make the second weekend, Kansas would play in nearby Omaha, Neb. "And we weren't expecting it to but it was and from that moment I think everyone just turned it up a notch", said senior Cassie Oursler.

Are you toying with the idea of picking the Michigan State Spartans to win it all in your bracket pool?

Like this: