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The Spartans took sole possession of first place in the Big Ten conference with a win over Purdue Sunday. Their 11-3 conference shows they can fight, and they would be 13-1 if they kept their head on straight early in the conference season. The Michigan State Spartans seem to make it to the Big Dance every year; they haven't missed the Big Dance since 1997.
Tom Izzo and his squad are almost locked into a top spot, whether a No. 1 or No. 2 seed. The Spartans lead the country with six wins over Top 25 teams. They started off slowly but got the wheels turning with a 15-game winning streak midway through the season. The Spartans lost to Northwestern and Illinois, games that the Spartans should have won. Their other loss in conference was at the hands of their archrival Michigan Wolverines, by one point.
The Spartans swept the Wisconsin Badgers and Purdue Boilermakers this season, with chances to do the same to their last four opponents.
The Spartans are a lock in the field. If they win three of their last four games, or all four, they have a shot at a No. 1 seed. Other than that, they are looking at a No. 2 seed.
Remaining Games: Feb. 22 at Minnesota (17-10, 5-9), Feb. 25 vs. Nebraska (12-13, 4-10), Feb. 28 at No. 20 Indiana (20-7, 8-7), March 4 vs. No. 6 Ohio State (22-5, 10-4)
(Rankings based on AP Poll 2/13/2012)