Michigan State NCAA Tourney Analysis: Spartans One of Four Prom Kings?

Ari WagnerContributor IMarch 10, 2009

Michigan State has been a constant threat all year to teams in the RPI top 50, and has a credible roster of stars. Currently MSU is ranked No. 7 in the AP poll, No. 6 in the coach’s poll, and has won the Big Ten outright.

Being led by Kalin Lucas, Raymar Morgan (26 PPG combined), and super-senior Goran Suton giving MSU those quality, heart-filled minutes, this team should be a No. 1 seed come time for the school dance.

With key losses to only North Carolina on a neutral site early in the season, MSU has proven themselves with wins over Texas (then No. 5) and twice vs. Minnesota, once away when they were ranked 21st and then home when they were No. 19.

They also beat then No. 20 Illinois in Champaign and a Purdue team that was also ranked No. 20 within the last 10 days.

The Spartans went to Ann Arbor to play their archrival on an extremely hostile court and won the game by 12 points. Michigan is being considered by many analysts to be a team that is on the bubble, and should get a berth.

The Spartans are 12-2 overall vs. the RPI top 50 teams in the nation. They have three more wins than Pitt, four more wins and one less loss than Oklahoma and UConn, and seven more wins than UNC in the RPI top 50.

This statistic shows that they schedule hard games and also take care of the business that they set out to achieve during those basketball games.

UNC has only played in six RPI top 50 games and has lost one of those games. MSU has won double the amount of RPI top 50 games as UNC has played in this season.

MSU has a proven coach, Tom Izzo, who knows what it takes to get the best out of his team in the big dance.

If the Spartans win the Big Ten tournament they will most likely play and have to win versus more RPI top 50, making them a sure pick for a No. 1 seed in the tournament.

Just because MSU is not a UConn or a Pitt, or just because they are in the Big Ten does not mean they should not have a No. 1 seed in the dance. Their record and opponents clearly show they are more than qualified for a No. 1 seed come March Madness.