Here we go, Michigan State fans. This is what we have been waiting for the past few seasons. The Spartans are a No. 1 seed and, after last year, MSU fans are ready for a deep tournament run.
By the way, who saw former Spartan Chris Allen light it up Thursday against UConn? The former Spartan went for 20 points in the win for Iowa State … but enough about that.
If you think MSU got the toughest draw of 16 seeds, you’re right.
MSU has a team in LIU-Brooklyn that is ready to play, has tournament experience and well, think they can beat the Spartans.
“Being a 16 seed, it’s not something we want to be, but being that we’re a 16 seed matching up with Michigan State, I feel it’s a much better matchup than if we got a 15 and played like a Missouri or something like that,” LIU’s Julian Boyd said.
Wow, that’s a bold statement, but hey, what else would you want to hear?
As for the Spartans, they respect the Blackbirds, but keep in mind, this is also a team that’s only common opponent with MSU this season — Penn State — beat LIU-Brooklyn by eight points.
Also, seven members of the LIU-Brooklyn team played on last season’s team that lost as a No. 15 seed to North Carolina (in a blowout, we might add, 102-87).
“That’s my other big worry,” Izzo said, other than becoming the first No. 1 seed ever to fall to a 16. “They’ve got like six guys that have played in the tournament. That’s probably more than I’ve got significantly. We’ve got 2 1/2 guys that played a decent amount in the tournament last year.”
We know this: Tonight’s game is not going to be easy if the Blackbirds get off to a hot start. We also know this: MSU is just a whole lot better than LIU-Brooklyn.
No. 1 Michigan State vs. No. 15 LIU-Brooklyn
- Where: Columbus
- Time: 9:20 p.m. ET
- TV: TBS
- Line: Spartans by 19
- Prediction: Michigan State 84, LIU-Brooklyn 60
No. 4 Michigan vs. No. 13 Ohio
There are a few national pundits who are picking the Wolverines to be upset in this one, however, we just don’t see it. Michigan will simply out-shoot, out-hustle and out-play the Bobcats.
- Where: Nashville
- Time: 7:20 p.m. ET
- Line: Wolverines by 5.5 points
- Prediction: Michigan 76, Ohio 62
No. 7 St. Mary’s vs. No. 10 Purdue
Like most of the Big Ten games in the tournament, Purdue is expected to have a tough time with its foe, St. Mary’s from the West Coast Conference — a team that is much tougher than their name suggest. However, with Robbie Hummel making his final NCAA Tournament, we think the Boilermakers have a little bit left in them to make for a last-second win.
- Where: Omaha
- Time: 7:27 p.m. ET
- Line: Gaels by 2
- Prediction: Purdue 68, St. Mary’s 66