Con: High expectations don’t guarantee success for MSU specifically
Yes, early on, Tom Izzo’s 1-seeded teams performed extremely well including three straight Final Fours and of course a national title in 2000.
That disaster season that came after back-to-back Final Fours? They were the preseason No. 2. The next year, they were a 1-seed in the NCAA tournament and lost in the Sweet 16. The next season, they lost again in the Sweet 16 as a 3-seed. The 2014-15 team made it further than any of those teams as a 7-seed.
Surely, a team that has Final Four experience, was ranked No. 1 for 7 weeks on the AP poll and a 2-seed heading into the tourney the very next year would deliver on such high expectations, right? Giddy Potts and MTSU had something to say about that.
Izzo’s best team by regular season wins couldn’t beat an 11-seed in Little Caesars’ Arena. It just seems like lately, Izzo does some of his best work as an underdog, as evidenced by his record 16 wins as a lower seed in the NCAA tournament.
Izzo can take 5-seeds, 7-seeds, and 1-seeds to a Final Four. He can also fail to take 1-seeds, 2-seeds, 5-seeds, and 7-seeds out of the first weekend.