Michigan State basketball has been one of the top teams in all of college basketball this season. However, when the NCAA Tournament selection committee revealed its current top-16 teams on Sunday, it did not rank the Spartans as a top-two seed.
Michigan State — which currently holds an overall record of 24-3, and has gone 12-2 in conference play — was not ranked a No. 1 or No. 2 seed. Instead, the Spartans were named as one of the four No. 3 seeds.
The overall No. 1 seed as chosen by the committee is Virginia, with Villanova, Xavier and Purdue being named as the other No. 1 seeds. The four No. 2 seeds are Auburn, Kansas, Duke and Cincinnati. The other three No. 3 seeds along with Michigan State are Clemson, Texas Tech and North Carolina.
Michigan State is ranked as the No. 11 overall seed, behind Clemson (No. 9) and Texas Tech (No. 10). The committee placed the Spartans in the South Region, where Virginia and Cincinnati are the top two teams. Tennessee is ranked as the No. 4 seed for that region.
While some may feel that the Spartans have been snubbed out of a top-two seed, there have been plenty of people that have pointed out Michigan State’s strength of schedule, or lack there of.
According to Mlive.com’s Kyle Austin, Michigan State’s strength of schedule this season is currently ranked No. 114. That is the fifth-worst ranking among RPI top 50 teams.
Obviously, this ranking could change, as the Spartans still have plenty of time to improve their ranking. If they Spartans win out to finish their regular season and then go on to win the Big Ten Tournament, they would improve their case to be a top-two seed in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
The other Big Ten teams to make the cut were Purdue (No. 1 seed for the West Region) and Ohio State (No. 4 seed for the East Region).
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