The NCAA tournament brackets came out on Sunday with three teams from the state making the Big Dance. Michigan State is a number one seed in the West starting the tournament against the number 16 LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds. Detroit Mercy is a number 15 seed playing against number two Kansas in the Midwest.
Finally, Michigan is a number four seed playing against number 13 Ohio University in the Midwest as well. The tournament committee must have had a sense of humor having Michigan against Ohio U, with some fans asking for them to be called The Ohio University.
Back to MSU, who was able to lock up the number one seed by winning the Big Ten tournament by slaughtering Iowa, Wisconsin and taking all that Ohio State could muster but still winning 68-64. State is considered to be the lowest of the four number one seeds, but they still have a great chance to advance deep in the tournament.
But with any seed, State also has a chance to be bounced early from the tournament. MSU is basically assured to move on to the Round of 32 as number one seeds are 108-0 against number 16 seeds. As for the next round, the 8/9 matchup in the West is intriguing with Memphis playing Saint Louis but State should be able to handle both.
The only two teams in the bracket that could give the Spartans fits would be Missouri and Marquette. Both teams are up and down big scoring teams as they both score over 75 points a game. If Michigan State can stay at a grind-it-out pace and slow both offenses I see them getting out of the West bracket and making another Final Four.
For Michigan a horrible showing in the Big Ten tournament dropped them from a three seed to a four seed, which is the same as Wisconsin. Regardless of what people think they should be ranked, Michigan got a great draw to the Sweet Sixteen.
After Ohio, Michigan would get the winner of Temple and Cal/South Florida. None of these teams can exploit the Wolverines big weakness of a lack of inside presence and I believe Michigan can beat any of those teams.
When it comes to the Sweet Sixteen, U of M would most likely face North Carolina and that will be a problem if Carolina has injured John Henson or not. I see this being as deep as the Wolverines can get in the tourney, but maybe with some luck or an upset who knows.
Finally for U of D they face a big test in Kansas. A rough start to the season kept the Titans from getting any higher than a 15 seed, but Kansas is beatable. The Jayhawks don’t have a lot of team depth but they do have one of the best players in all of college basketball in double-double machine, tied for most in college with 23, Thomas Robinson.
If U of D can get off to a quick start and put some pressure on turnover-prone point guard, 3.5 a game, Tyshawn Taylor they have a chance to make a game of this. I’m not predicting a Titan victory, but I think they have a ten percent chance of beating Kansas if things can go their way.
Now as improbably as it is, if U of D is able to advance past Kansas I think they can get to the Sweet Sixteen. The 7/10 matchup of St. Mary’s against Purdue winner is beatable by the Titans, but running into a Georgetown potentially in the Sweet Sixteen will be a nearly impossible game for the Titans.