Michigan State is on the bubble for the 2021 NCAA Tournament — a uncommon spot for the Big Ten powerhouse.
The Spartans have made 22 straight match appearances underneath Tom Izzo. Michigan State’s final miss was in 1996-97 in Izzo’s second season. Michigan State (14-10) began the 2020-21 season with six straight victories, however they misplaced 4 of their first six Big Ten video games earlier than having three video games postponed due to COVID-19.
The Spartans, nonetheless, are making a run simply in time for March. Will that be sufficient to make the Big Dance?
Can Michigan State make the NCAA Tournament?
Michigan State improved its standing with a 64-58 victory in opposition to Indiana on Tuesday.
Michigan State and the Big Ten match
The Spartans are in ninth place within the Big Ten, that means they might need to win 4 video games to earn the convention’s computerized bid within the NCAA Tournament. Michigan State received the final Big Ten match in 2019 and has essentially the most convention match championships with six.
The Spartans can increase their match case with a uncommon double-header with their greatest rival beginning Thursday.
Michigan State performs at No. 2 Michigan on Thursday, and the in-state rivals will play a second recreation Sunday in East Lansing. The Wolverines would clinch the regular-season championship with a win in both recreation, so the Spartans have an opportunity to play spoiler and bolster their match case within the subsequent 5 days.
Michigan State has received 4 of the final 5 conferences within the sequence. The groups may play once more within the Big Ten match, too.
Strength of victory
Michigan State is 3-2 in opposition to high 10 groups this season, and that features back-to-back wins in opposition to Illinois and Ohio State. An early-season victory in opposition to Duke – which is also within the uncommon place of being on the match bubble – may come into play with the choice committee, too.
The Spartans are 2-7 on the highway in Big Ten play this season, with the lone wins coming in opposition to Indiana and Nebraska. That places somewhat extra significance on the highway recreation at Michigan this Thursday.
KenPom, RPI, SOS and Quadrants
How Michigan State makes March Madness
Izzo’s popularity as a coach who will get essentially the most out of his groups in March helps. The Spartans have received 4 of their final 5 video games, and that has pushed them again into the NCAA match dialogue.
A sweep in opposition to the Wolverines would give Michigan State a .500 document in Big Ten play and would make the Spartans a digital lock to get within the NCAA match.
A cut up in opposition to Michigan and one win within the Big Ten match – doubtless in opposition to Rutgers or Maryland – additionally can be sufficient to get Michigan State off the bubble.
If the Wolverines sweep Michigan State, nonetheless, that highway turns into for much longer. These subsequent two video games may be simply as vital because the Big Ten match.