MSU still listed as No. 2 seed in latest projections
Back-to-back losses might have tempered the expectations of some Spartan fans, but the national media still thinks highly of the Green and White.
ESPN college basketball analyst Joe Lunardi released his weekly projection Bracketology&zone=bracketology for the upcoming NCAA Tournament field Tuesday, and the No. 9 MSU men’s basketball team (22-6 overall, 11-4 Big Ten) held their position despite a rocky week.
The Spartans still are listed as a No. 2 seed, this time playing in the West region against No. 15 seed Montana.
The game would be played in-state at the Palace of Auburn Hills, home of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons. The Spartans are expected to maintain the location as long as they remain as a No. 3 seed or better.
All six of MSU’s losses have come against teams ranked in the top-30 of the Ratings Percentage Index, or RPI, a rating system used by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee to help determine the quality of each college basketball team.
MSU is one of seven Big Ten teams to crack Lunardi’s bracket, with No. 1 Indiana leading the way as the tournament’s top seed in the Midwest region and arch-rival No. 4 Michigan holding firm as a fellow No. 2 seed, also scheduled to open the tournament in Auburn Hills, Mich.
Rounding out the Big Ten’s tournament field are No. 16 Ohio State and No. 17 Wisconsin, both projected as No. 5 seeds, Illinois, which currently is listed as a No. 9 seed along with No. 11 seed Minnesota.
The Spartans return to the hardwood on Sunday when they take on the Wolverines in Ann Arbor (4 p.m., CBS).
It will be just the second time the two teams have competed against each other as top-10 teams, with MSU winning the first matchup two weeks ago, 75-52.