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Spartan Bracketology: March 5th

MSU holding steady at a two seed, but not much room for error.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan State at Indiana Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State had just one game since we last checked the brackets and it did not go well. Somehow the Spartans let one slip away in Bloomington and dropped a second game to Indiana. That one hurt but not as bad as some people thought it might when looking at the bracket projections. So let’s see what everyone has for us this week.

The major consensus is that Michigan State remains a two seed, with not a ton of movement from where they were previously in most of the brackets.

Four of the five have MSU on the two-seed line, with three of those (SBNation, NCAA, FoxSports) having them in the West bracket. Gonzaga remains the top team in the west across the board.

However, the three seed is different in each of those projected west brackets. Houston, Texas Tech, and LSU, all show up as possible Sweet Sixteen opponents for the Spartans out west.

Houston also shows up as a three seed and possible Sweet Sixteen opponent in the bracket from ESPN. Joe Lunardi though, has the Spartans out east as the two seed, in the bracket headlined by Virginia.

The only outlier is CBSSports, which has dropped the Spartans to the three seed in the west, with LSU moved up to the two, and Gonzaga still on top.

I have some issues with this as LSU is five spots behind MSU in the NET Rankings and the Spartans have more Quad 1 wins and almost as many Q1 wins as LSU has games against Q1 teams total.

The Spartans are also well ahead of LSU in the KenPom rankings while playing in the best conference in the country per KenPom. The SEC checks in at number four in the conference rankings.

That is not to say that MSU is not teetering on the edge of the two line right now, but when you look at the teams that are looking to jump them, I think MSU has the edge, for now.

Some other notes from the brackets:

Both ESPN and SBNation have the Spartans facing last year’s Cinderella Loyola-Chicago in the first round.

The only team to appear as a possible second round opponent in more than one bracket is Oklahoma. Other second round possibilities include a rematch with Louisville, Washington, VCU, NC State, Mississippi St, and Buffalo.

MSU is slated for Des Moines in all the brackets that have them as a two seed. The CBS bracket has them playing the first weekend in Hartford.

Michigan State is eighth in the Net Rankings, still the highest ranked Big Ten team.