The Michigan State Spartans beat the Michigan Wolverines for the third time this season, and this time around it earned the basketball program its sixth Big Ten Tournament title. However, MSU’s strong season and convincing play in the conference tournament was not enough to garner a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Michigan State will compete at the No. 2 seed in the East Region and take on No. 15 seed Bradley. The Spartans play on Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa.
The Bradley Braves, located in Peoria, Illinois, went 20-14 this season, and won the Missouri Valley Conference tournament for an automatic bid into the big dance.
Of course, MSU was placed in the same bracket as Duke, who earned the overall No. 1 seed in the tournament. Two other Big Ten teams will compete in the East bracket — Minnesota (10-seed) and Maryland (6-seed).
The winner of the MSU/Bradley game takes on the winner of the Louisville/Minnesota team. Louisville defeated Michigan State in overtime back in November, while the Spartans soundly defeated the Golden Gophers 79-55 in the lone meeting this season.
Virginia (South), North Carolina (Midwest) and Gonzaga (West) joins Duke as one seeds. Tennessee (South), Kentucky (Midwest) and Michigan (West) joins MSU as two seeds.
All in all, the Big Ten got eight teams into the tournament: Michigan State, Michigan, Purdue, Wisconsin, Maryland, Iowa, Minnesota and Ohio State. This is the largest number of teams by any one conference. Indiana was one of the last four out.
To be honest, this is a terrible draw for Michigan State. However, the Spartans have been able to weather the storm of bad luck all season long and get through just about every obstacle thrown their way.
However, contrary to popular belief, MSU is the No. 6 overall seed — not the No. 8 overall seed — according to CBS. Michigan was the No. 8 overall seed.
Update: Michigan State and Bradley tip-off at 2:45 p.m. on Thursday, and the game will be broadcast on CBS.