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Posts Tagged ‘Michigan State Spartans’

Preseason projected Top 4 seeds by Region

October 14, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015The complete preseason bracket arrives next week.  Ahead of that, here’s how the Top 4 seeds in each Region shape up heading into the 2019-20 college basketball season.

It begins with Michigan State.  The Spartans are a rather clear favorite to open the season at No. 1 on the Seed List.  Spots two through six?  Take your pick.  After changing my mind more than once, I settled on Kentucky, Louisville, and Kansas as the other No. 1 seeds.  Florida and Duke received strong consideration, too; they ended up as the top No. 2 seeds.  Given that Gonzaga has reloaded (again) and should pile up victories, a two-seed in the West seems like a fair bet.

The final two seed? Another contested decision, and truth be told, I’m not completely sold on my choice – Maryland.  In the end, though, the Terrapins projected lineup and returning experience won out over North Carolina, Oregon, Seton Hall and Ohio State. Read more…

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Bracket Bits: Ranking the Final Four

April 5, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015We’ve reached Minneapolis.  The Final Four includes a Blue Blood in Michigan State, a pair of newbies in Texas Tech and Auburn, and a team trying to rewrite its own NCAA history book in Virginia.

With top seeds Duke, Gonzaga, and North Carolina dispatched, UVA arrives in the Twin Cities as the only No. 1 seed still standing.  Does that make the Cavaliers the favorite to cut down the nets on Monday night?  Not necessarily.

Although this year’s Final Four may lack some traditional name power, it shouldn’t lack for drama – and certainly not for storylines.  How would you rank the Final Four?  Here’s my best attempt as tip-off nears on Saturday evening. Read more…

Quick Takes: Road woes continue for Kansas

February 6, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015Don’t adjust your rearview mirror.  What you’re looking at is actually there.  It’s just hard to believe – because we’re so used to seeing the Kansas Jayhawks leading the Big 12 parade.  But this year’s team, with its injuries and new pieces, has found their journey a bit more bumpy, especially on the road.

With its loss Tuesday night in Manhattan, KU is now 1-6 in true road games.  That’s unfamiliar territory for a program with a decades-plus worth of Big 12 trophies in its display case.  In a twist of irony, the Jayhawks lone road win came at Baylor back on January 12.  This morning, Baylor is tied with Kansas State (loss column) atop the conference race.

KU’s remaining league road games are TCU, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma. If they want to hold onto their current odds of an opening weekend in Tulsa (NCAA tournament pod), the Jayhawks may need to win at least two of those. Read more…

Seed List: Breaking down the top line

January 26, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015Who’s the best team in college basketball?  It’s a tough question, with four or five terrific options.  Who’s the team with the best resume among those five?  Figuring that out was the goal of a deliberate break-down early this morning.

How did it turn out?  The biggest debate was actually between teams four and five, in other words, the last No. 1 seed and the top No. 2 seed.  In this case, those teams were Virginia and Michigan.

Seed List

Ultimately, Michigan State moved to the first position.  The Spartans have a group-best six road wins, lead the nation’s No. 2 NET-rated Conference, have five wins against the currently projected at-large field and rank No. 1 against the Strength of Record.  MSU also has 11 wins against NET Groups 1/2 – including nine  against Group 1.  Note: the last NET rankings available at the time of publication was through Wednesday’s games (1/23). Read more…

Bracketology: Michigan State gets its due

January 24, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015Michigan State has completed a near two-month stretch of perfection, last losing at Louisville on November 27.  The Spartans’ run includes an impressive 8-0 start in the Big Ten and a 5-0 road record since that loss to the Cardinals.  Add in an impressive 7-2 mark against Group 1 (NET ratings) and MSU has a solid top-seed profile.

Bracketology   |   Seed List

In the interest of full disclosure, we have seven teams with viable one-seed resumes, and Kentucky is quickly building its case, too.  The race is on.

The middle and lower-end of the bracket remains littered with mix of average to questionable profiles.  That’s pretty typical for this time of year.  With Buffalo’s recent loss, Bowling Green earns the Mid-American’s automatic bid this morning; bumping the Bulls into the at-large pool.  That takes away one at-large spot from someone else.

Bracketology: Five teams, four spots for top line

January 21, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015Someone had to be the odd man, i.e. team, out this morning.  Try as I might, there simply wasn’t a way to fit five teams into four slots on the top seed line.  Five teams have deserving resumes, and if you consider Gonzaga, which you should, it’s really six teams for four spots.  Talk about your square pegs in round holes.

Bracketology   |   Seed List

Depending on your choice of metric and resume breakdown, there is no “wrong” order to the five (or six).  If we were in the Selection Committee room, discussions would be eventful.  After several run-throughs, the weekend chaos on the top line (Michigan, Virginia, and Kansas all lost), left Tennessee and Michigan State in the top two positions.  For what it’s worth, being a “projected league champion” for bracket purposes this morning ended up being a factor, too.  The good news:  We still have eight weeks to sort through the process, and usually, these things work themselves out. Read more…

Quick Takes: Who’s the fourth No. 1 seed?

January 16, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015As we peek ahead toward Thursday’s bracket, one question stands out: Who’s the fourth No. 1 seed?  Is it Duke, which lost to Syracuse but was missing key players?  Is it Kansas, who has more Group 1 wins than anyone against the nation’s No. 1 schedule?  Or is it Michigan State, who is tied with KU with nine wins against Groups 1/2 and whose two losses (Kansas, at Louisville) are by a combined 10 points?

One could make a compelling case for any of the three, and since Selection Sunday is still two months away, it’s really not all that important today.  At quick glance, I would favor Kansas by a slight margin for these reasons: the Jayhawks’ top-rated schedule; their superior total of Group 1 wins, especially since two of those wins are Tennessee and Michigan State, and that head-to-head win over MSU as a tiebreaker.  The other No. 1’s on Thursday will be Michigan, Virginia, and the aforementioned Volunteers. Read more…