Bracket Projection: Michigan State
It'll take a big-time team to knock off the tourney-savvy Spartans
As they are every March, the Michigan State Spartans are battle-tested and ready for the rigors of the NCAA tournament. They opened the season in Germany against UConn, then took on brand-name, RPI-enhancing foes like Kansas, Texas and Miami (Fla.) before heading into the meat grinder of the Big Ten, coming within a whisker of winning the regular-season crown.
The frequent-flier miles and hostile crowds are designed to toughen up the Spartans for the NCAA tournament, where coach Tom Izzo (37-14 record) shines. Can Michigan State be the last team standing and secure another national title?
ESPN Insider has your answers, as Joe Lunardi has enlisted a team of Bracketologists to compile advanced metrics, key scouting intel and best- and worst-case tournament scenarios for all 68 teams, in order to help you make smart picks in your bracket. Plus, as Lunardi fills out his bracket, he'll give you his prediction on how each team will fare.
Tom Izzo in the same region with Coach K and Rick Pitino? Seriously? I want to be in Lucas Oil Stadium for the regionals. Michigan State should have little trouble getting there, winning its first two comfortably before loading up for Duke. It's a classic inside/outside match up, and I like the Spartans' chances to knock the Blue Devils off stride and pull the mini-upset. Louisville, though, is another story.
Best wins: Kansas (in Atlanta), Ohio State, Michigan
Worst losses: UConn (in Germany), at Minnesota
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Insider Tourney Guide
Joe Lunardi and his team of analysts have broken down every NCAA tournament team's strengths, weaknesses and player tendencies.