Michigan State Basketball Case for a NCAA Tournament #1 Seed

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How badly did Michigan State basketball need that win over Purdue this past weekend? Well, let’s put it this way- that triumph became just their second signature win of the season. It’s not the Spartans’ fault the UConn is not UConn this season, Notre Dame is not Notre Dame, and the B1G is a hallowed out shell of what the B1G typically is.

While none of this is MSU’s fault, it nonetheless drags down their resume anyway. Just like Purdue, and their case for a #1 seed, the excessive softness of the B1G this season has devalued their strength of schedule, and thus depreciated their tournament resume.

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The good news is that all four #1 seeds are still essentially all up for grabs. Villanova, considered a lock for a #1 seed, just suffered an inexplicable loss to a HORRID St. John’s team. Virginia, the other strong front-runner for a #1 seed, just lost to a very mediocre Virginia Tech team this past weekend. So two of the four #1 seeds aren’t etched in stone just yet, and the last two #1 seeds will be probably filled out by two of the following:

Purdue, Xavier, Kansas or Texas Tech if they run the B1g 12 table and tournament, Auburn and of course this Michigan State basketball team. In the NCAA’s “what the bracket would be if it started today?” reveal yesterday, MSU was only a #3. That tells you

a.) how much work needs to be done and

b.) how much that SoS hurts.

We discussed Carsen Edwards, Michigan State, Purdue, and the resume for both teams to obtain a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, during the Hammer and Rails podcast, embedded below

Michigan State basketball NCAA Tournament Resume

Record: 24-3, (Conference Record 12-2)

Rankings:  AP #4  RPI #19   Sagarin #4  KenPom #6  SoS #94

Key Wins: North Carolina #10, Purdue RPI #12

The victories over UConn and Notre Dame seemed special at the time, but they haven’t aged well. Hence they REALLY needed that big win over the Boilermakers on Saturday. The Spartans definitely needed that W this past weekend more than the Boilers.   

Resume Blemishes: All three of their losses (Duke, Ohio State, Michigan) were to teams that have spent a majority of the season nationally ranked, and in the case of the Blue Devils and Buckeyes, ranked very high. Thus, they have no “bad” losses.

Remaining Regular Season Schedule: @ Minnesota, @Northwestern, Illinois, @Wisconsin

Although State will finish with three of their last four on the road, wow do they have an easy path! It’s Michigan State basketball versus the 13th, 11th, 10th and 8th place teams in an extremely weak B1G.

It looks like MSU will head to the B1G tourney 28-3, and 16-2 in the league. In other words, a run to the B1G tournament title game should be enough to put Michigan State basketball in the top seed conversation. Of course, if they run the table at Madison Square Garden, it would erase any doubt.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.

Follow him on TwitterInstagramSound Cloud, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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