Published: Thu, March 15, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Everything you need to know about MSU and the tournament

Everything you need to know about MSU and the tournament

There are about 10-12 teams that we can see having a legitimate shot at the national championship, but at the same time no clear favorite.

The best mid-majors are typically seeded 12th, but UNC bolstered its tournament resume with early-season wins over DePaul and LSU. They have combined to be part of one heck of an NCAA Tournament hype video for Michigan State. Then the bottom fell out on both teams. But the Spartans have won only one game in the last two seasons and were stunned by Middle Tennessee State in 2016.

Efficiency counts for title contenders: In last year's total efficiency ratings from KenPom.com, Final Four participants Gonzaga (1), North Carolina (3) and OR (10) ranked in the top 10. Sunday's results showed that. Bucknell lost 93-81 at North Carolina on November 15 and fell 80-78 three days later at Maryland.

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When the season began, Michigan State was the pick of everyone to win the Big Ten. Each top-four seed has its own pod, and each location can host only two four-team pods.

After much speculation about the possibility of playing close to home, MI will head out to Wichita, Kansas for the first weekend of the dance.

Kansas is the No. 1 seed in the Midwest, and MSU could be headed toward a Sweet 16 matchup with No. 2 seed Duke in Omaha.

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Jay Bilas just said he would have MSU as a 1 seed. Waiting for them in Dayton will be a struggling Arizona State team. "And what it is, it's consistency", said Izzo, whose lone national title in 2000 came with NCAA Tournament games at the Palace of Auburn Hills. The victor gets TCU or the victor of the first four game between Syracuse and Arizona State. Johnathan Williams and Killian Tillie are the Bulldogs' leading scorers with averages of 13.5 and 13.4 points per game, respectively. More important, it has No. 1 overall seed Virginia and No. 2 seeds in Duke and North Carolina.

The 2018 Big Ten Rowing Championships are set for May 13 at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis. Maybe it was purely based on credentials, but it's certainly something to think about.

Of course, given the current FBI investigation into college basketball's seamy underworld of agents, shoe companies and illegal payouts, it might be tough cheering for teams that could vacate their tournament appearances at some point. Waiting on the other side of the bracket could be Cincinnati, a team not afraid of slowing it down and getting in the mud with the Cavaliers. If the Wolverines or Buckeyes are going to reach the Final Four, they are going to have to earn it. Northern Colorado is hitting the tournament with a lot of momentum, as they haven't lost a game since mid-January. The committee did not buy into these gaudy-but-mostly-empty records. In retrospect, it should have been somewhat obvious.

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Best Win: 63-45 vs. The Trojans were swept by UCLA, lost to Arizona State and also lost twice to Arizona. Only the Pac 12 has fewer with three.

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