3. A double bye for the Big Ten Tournament
Let’s keep the streak alive of Michigan State never playing in the first group of games in the Big Ten Tournament. That’s the easy part. The hard part is being a top four team, securing a rest for the opening round and the second round for seeds 5-10.
Yes, those two early losses have put the Spartans in a deficit, but the way the team is playing right now should be plenty to overcome the six teams ahead of them in the fight for the top four.
It’s no secret that Purdue will take the top spot unless Zach Edey goes down for the season, leaving three more spots. Illinois is playing at a high level but lost their head-and-shoulders best player Terrence Shannon Jr. for legal reasons. Wisconsin is another team that can challenge the Big Ten for the top four spots but has a brutal back half of the schedule including road games at Ohio State, Rutgers, Iowa, and Purdue.
While Michigan State’s schedule is no cakewalk, as is the case with any Big Ten schedule, there are plenty of opportunities to pick up quality wins, improve NET ranking, and prepare this team for the postseason.