Many people watching the NCAA Selection Show were shocked yesterday when the Michigan State Spartans were given a 2-seed to the Big Dance. Instead of being upset about being snubbed, let’s look at some reasons why the Spartans should be happy about the 2-seed.
If we would’ve gotten a 1-seed in the West (which I thought might happen for a while this weekend) we would be playing in Spokane, WA and Anaheim, CA. If we would’ve been a 2-seed we would be playing in Oklahoma City. I don’t have any proof, but I think it’s safe to say we have more alumni in the Midwest, specifically the Chicago area. By being the two seed in the Midwest, we play in St. Louis (4.5 hour drive from Chicago, 7 hours from East Lansing). If we were the one seed, we would be playing in Raleigh, NC (12.5 hours from Chicago, 11.5 hours from East Lansing).
2. Past Success
This is the third time that the Michigan State Spartans have been a 2-seed in the NCAA Tournament. The last time they were a 2-seed was 2009, MSU made it to the Nation Championship game and lost to the North Carolina. That 2009 North Carolina team is often considered one of the greatest college basketball teams of all time. The other time Michigan State was a 2-seed? The 1979 National Championship team lead by Earvin “Magic” Johnson.
3. Potential Sweet 16 Opponents
If we were the 1-seed we would most likely be playing Purdue (KenPom #10) or Iowa State (KenPom #18) in the Sweet Sixteen game. Personally, I rather not play Purdue again. Iowa State scares me less than Purdue, but they are still a good team. They have 11 losses, but every team that beat them this season is in the NCAA Tournament, and they also have wins over Kansas and Oklahoma.
As the 2-seed, its likely we see Seton Hall (#26), Utah (KenPom #29), or Gonzaga (#28). Seton Hall looks dangerous coming off a back-to-back tournament wins over Xavier and Villanova, but I thought both of those teams were a bit overrated anyways. Utah has All-American and PAC-12 POY Jakob Poltl, but I think they got a better seed here than they deserve. Gonzaga won their conference, but tell me two other teams that play in the WCC.
4. TV Slot
If we were the 1-seed in the Midwest, the game would tip-off at 3:10 PM, Thursday on truTV. Being the 2-seed in the Midwest, we tip-off at 2:45 PM, Friday on CBS. As much fun as it is quickly switching tabs between your work e-mail and the basketball game, wouldn’t you rather just watch the game? If you work a Monday through Friday 9–5 job, chances are your Fridays are a lot more relaxed than a Thursday, especially those last couple of hours of the day. If you are a student in East Lansing, there’s a better chance that you won’t be sitting in class on a Friday afternoon than on Thursday.
Also, who has truTV? Everyone has CBS!
What do Michigan State fans and athletes THRIVE on? Disrespect. Most of the Big Ten teams were under-seeded this year (but maybe that’s just my bias). Tom Izzo was on Mike & Mike this morning and said that he the seeding didn’t bother him. However, Jennifer Hammond of Fox 2 News reported that the team opted to not stop watching the selection show after seeing they were not a 1-seed. She also quoted Tum Tum saying “We don’t care who we play”.