Michigan State Basketball: What 2019 Big Ten Tournament path looks like

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - FEBRUARY 24: Cassius Winston #5 of the Michigan State Spartans talks with head coach Tom Izzo while playing the Michigan Wolverines at Crisler Arena on February 24, 2019 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan State won the game 77-70. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - FEBRUARY 24: Cassius Winston #5 of the Michigan State Spartans talks with head coach Tom Izzo while playing the Michigan Wolverines at Crisler Arena on February 24, 2019 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan State won the game 77-70. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The prediction of Michigan State basketball’s path to the championship game in the Big Ten Tournament with outcomes of each game they will play.

Michigan State capped off its season on senior night in front of a raucous home crowd against top rival Michigan for a piece of the regular season title with a demanding and impressive 75-63 victory.

This gave them a a piece of the regular season championship, a No. 1 seed for the Big Ten tournament and it boosted their resume to help enhance their seeding come Selection Sunday.

Before Selection Sunday is here, the Michigan State Spartans will play in the Big Ten Tournament for a chance to win that for the first time since 2016. Here is what their road to the championship game will look like.

With the win on Saturday against Michigan, it gives the Spartans all week to enjoy and rest up before their first tip-off on Friday at 12:30 p.m. ET. These Spartans will have to play the winner of the 8/9 matchup which will either be Ohio State or Indiana.

If Ohio State wins, then Michigan State has the recipe to beating the Buckeyes already. If, however, they draw the Indiana Hoosiers then they will need to find the recipe to beat them because they could not seem to beat the Hoosiers in two games in the regular season.

Ohio State will rely heavily on the play of Kaleb Wesson, who’s returning from suspension. Xavier Tillman and Nick Ward will have to keep him out of the paint. Controlling Wesson means controlling the game and that is what we need out of the bigs if Michigan State wants to beat Ohio State if they meet.

Indiana is a different story. On paper, Michigan State should have beat them just a week ago but somehow lost by one point. They will need to keep the turnovers down so that Romeo Langford and Juwan Morgan cannot get out and run. They will also need to keep those two just mentioned in check, and not let their other role players have the game of their careers which is what happened in their last meeting when they let Justin Smith go out and get 24 points.

Along with shutting their star players, down the Spartans will need more production from their senior leader Matt McQuaid. He shot poorly in both meetings in the regular season and his defense was off. More production from him is what these Spartans will need.

Overall, no matter who they play, whether it is Ohio State or Indiana I think Michigan State will win by eight points 73-65.

Once they advance, they will play either Nebraska, Maryland or Wisconsin in the semifinal. I did not mention Rutgers because I don’t think they will make out of the first round against the Cornhuskers.

Nebraska is a sleeper in this league and could shock some people in this tournament. It will not only beat the Rutgers but it will also beat Maryland on its way to play Wisconsin. That’s where the Cornhuskers’ tourney run ends because Ethan Happ will be too much for them to handle. This means MSU will face Wisconsin in semifinals.

Wisconsin will not be an easy task, by any means, with Happ facing Tillman. However, MSU will get the job done once again against this Wisconsin team. They will limit Happ’s production to 12 points and win convincingly 85-70 to make it to the championship game.

This is where things get tricky. They will most likely play either the Wolverines or Boilermakers. These Spartans are 3-1 against these two teams. However, it’s a big game for all the marbles.

Teams in the Big Ten tend to step up when in these types of games. Charles Matthews will be back sometime in the tournament, giving them much-needed help on the defensive end and offensively. Carsn Edwards will be ready to go in this tournament as well so this match-up in semifinal game to face the Spartans in the championship will be a great game to watch.

Overall, I think the Wolverines come out on top. John Beilein said they will take the loss in the regular season finale and learn from their mistakes and just get better. They will get back to their roots of defense first and shut down the Boilermakers to make to  make it back to the championship game.

In the championship game, Michigan will try to get revenge against Michigan State. They will get down to the nitty gritty defense and continue to do those switches that worked so well for them in the first of the regular season finale. Cassius Winston will have a great game again and he will show everyone why he is the Big Ten Player of the year.

However, no one else for the Spartans will show up to play and we will see lackluster defensive performances from the two seniors, Kenny Goins and McQuaid.

They won’t be able to hit the three-ball well because of Michigan’s tough defense and Jon Teske will figure out his post defense and win the battle down low which he has struggled to do in the last two meetings. He will not do so well on the offensive end, but Teske will have some shut down defense and Tillman or Ward will not get it going. Michigan will then go on to win this nail bitting game 65-58.

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What does this mean then? What will happen during Selection Sunday when this championship game ends? The Spartans will not get that preferred No. 1 seed, they will stay at a No. 2 seed. Michigan however will jump back up to earn the last No. 2 seed of the night.