In or out? College GameDay crew breaks down NCAA Tournament case for Michigan State
Don’t look now, but Michigan State is doing its best to sneak into the NCAA Tournament.
After a 4-9 start to conference play in the B1G, Tom Izzo and the Spartans were left for dead by many around the country. That was not surprising as the team did not look good and was playing out of sorts on both ends of the floor.
That has since been turned around with Michigan State winning three straight games, including back-to-back upsets of Illinois and Ohio State. Those wins have the Spartans back on the bubble and fighting for a spot in the field for March Madness.
Saturday morning, ESPN’s College GameDay crew broke down the hopes for Izzo’s squad to make the tournament. Seth Greenberg believes as things stand in this moment, MSU is in the field and can stay there or play its way out:
“In this moment, they might be in the tournament. Tomorrow, they might not, they’ve got to beat Maryland, that’s the first order of business,” said Greenberg. “When I look at this MSU team, are they playing tournament basketball? Yeah, they are…when I look at Michigan State, in the tournament right now, opportunities to stay in the tournament. This time of year, here’s the deal: good wins keep you in, bad losses send you out.”
Jay Bilas agreed and ultimately believes the Spartans will wind up making the tournament due to the ability to make a statement late in the season:
“I think Michigan State ultimately makes the tournament, and one of the keys is Michigan State and Duke have some higher value games that they can play down the stretch and including into their conference tournaments that other teams on the bubble don’t have,” explained Bilas.
The final piece of the puzzle for LaPhonso Ellis is that he believes the Spartans will not be penalized harshly for their worst loss in conference play:
“This is in the B1G, the biggest baddest conference in the country, so I don’t think Michigan State will be penalized (for a bad loss to Northwestern),” said Ellis. “However, they’ll need to get a couple wins in the B1G Tournament, and that will be the momentum they need to ride into the NCAA Tournament.”
Can the Spartans complete their late-season rally? The next test is Sunday against Maryland with the tipoff set for 2 pm EST on CBS.