Michigan State basketball has raced out to a 3-1 start to the year so where should the Spartans be ranked on Monday?
Death. Taxes. Michigan State basketball fans speculating early-season rankings.
No, rankings in November do not matter in college basketball, but it’s a fun talking point and it’s good to see your team doing well and getting recognized.
If all goes as planned for the Spartans in this week’s rankings, they’ll be vaulting into the AP Top 25 after being unranked through the first two weeks of the season. In fact, they were unranked in the preseason and then the first team outside the top 25 last week after losing to Gonzaga by a single point.
Many argued that Michigan State should have been ranked a week ago after nearly beating Gonzaga, but voters did not agree. There was a “wait and see” mentality from the AP voters as the Spartans were going to try and prove that the Gonzaga performance was no fluke by hanging with Kentucky and Villanova. The Spartans beat both.
Michigan State is now 3-1 on the year with wins over Kentucky and Villanova and a one-point loss (that should have been a win) against Gonzaga.
So where will we see the Spartans ranked on Monday afternoon when the new poll comes out?
If I were to bet on it, I’d say the Spartans will be somewhere in that 5-10 range. Going from unranked to a top-10 team seems unrealistic, but it’s not an unprecedented jump. We’ve seen teams in the past go from unranked to top-10 after a big week and I think the Spartans have had a heck of a stretch to start the year.
If I’m being forced to predict an actual number here, I’m going with No. 8.
Although I will reiterate that these rankings simply do not matter yet, it’s good to see Michigan State exceeding expectations early on. Being ranked would be huge considering no one was expecting that after this early-season gauntlet, playing Gonzaga, Kentucky, and Villanova in the span of seven days.
Fans should be really excited about this team. Tom Izzo is coaching the heck out of these guys early on.