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Michigan State basketball: 88 NCAA Tournament experts predict bracket

One bracket has the Spartans missing the tourney.

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Michigan State basketball
© Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Michigan State basketball has been projected to make the NCAA Tournament in 87 of 88 experts’ early brackets.

March is right around the corner, and now more than ever Michigan State basketball needs to be playing its best ball. Usually Michigan State is fine tuning some aspects of their game, gearing up for what they are hoping is a deep NCAA Tournament run. However, this season, like in years past, the Spartans still have work to do just to get into the tournament.

A fun website called Bracket Matrix compiles data from 88 different experts who project NCAA Tournament fields. An example of one projection is Joe Lunardi’s ESPN bracketology that I’m sure most of you have heard of. His projection is part of this data along with 87 others as well.

Let’s take a look and see where these bracket experts have MSU seeded as of Feb. 6.

Spartans included in 87 of 88 brackets

Of the 88 NCAA bracket projections, Michigan State is in the tournament field in 87 of them. This total was a lot lower a few weeks ago, but I’m shocked to see someone left the Spartans out after winning five of their last six games.

The Spartans also currently check in as a 9-seed overall, with an average seed of 9.02 across all 88 brackets. The best seeds given to MSU is a 5-seed and 6-seed both just one time. That honestly is shocking to me as I don’t think the Spartans should be that high quite yet. As mentioned, Michigan State is left out of the tournament in one projection and were also given a 12-seed twice and an 11-seed 12 times.

Purdue leads the Big Ten by earning a 1-seed in all 88 brackets, and rightfully so. Wisconsin also has an average seed of 2.51 while Illinois’ average is at 3.90. Northwestern also makes the field with an average seed of 8.94 and Nebraska comes in at 9.47. Six teams is it for the Big Ten, which is a down year for the conference.

Breaking down ESPN’s bracketology

As mentioned, Lunardi is responsible for making ESPN’s NCAA tournament projection. Lunardi’s bracket has been proven to not be as accurate as the other brackets on this site over the years, but since his is the most popular we’ll dive into his.

Lunardi has the Spartans as a 7-seed in the East region. They would play 10-seed Texas A&M in the first round with a potential date against 2-seed Kansas next. It would be difficult to make it out of the first weekend with this draw, but we all know you can’t doubt Tom Izzo.

On the other side of MSU’s region are some familiar names if the Spartans were to win their first two games. The defending champs, UConn, are the 1-seed and could be waiting to play the Spartans at some point en route to a potential Final Four. Alabama is the 3-seed and Big Ten foe Nebraska is the 9-seed. Kentucky also comes in as the 5-seed which would be a fun matchup as well.

These projections will change a lot as the season goes on. It’s only February and the Spartans still have nine regular season games remaining. All Michigan State basketball can do at this point is keep winning and hope to lock in their NCAA Tournament selection and get off the dreaded 8/9-seed line.

Lead writer for Spartan Shadows since April 2023, writing over 450 articles. Michigan State basketball, football and recruiting expert. Class of 2019 graduate from Michigan State University specializing in Sports Management. Daily MSU runs a popular X page (@daily_msu) covering all things MSU Sports.

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