Once again Michigan St is rolling along and looking a lot like the team that made it to the national championship game last season. For all intents and purposes, the regular season title is locked up and they’re just really playing for NCAA tournament seeding.
Led by reigning Big Ten player of the year, Kalin Lucas, the Spartans are balanced offensively and can do more than just win with defense and rebounding. Three other starters are averaging double figures in points.
The schedule does begin to stiffen for the Spartans though. They still have games coming up against Wisconsin, Ohio St, and Purdue. While they might slip up a little down the stretch, expect the Spartans to win another Big Ten regular season title walking away.
A brief sidenote: This rumor about the NCAA tournament expanding has me concerned. It is so unnecessary. I can understand expanding it to include three other teams. This reeks of greed by the NCAA and it de-emphasizes conference tournaments.
Stock Up: SEC. Last year, the SEC had an uncharacteristically down season, but it seems to be back in a big way this year. After needing a surprising run by Mississippi St to get three teams in last season, it looks like the SEC has at least seven teams with legitimate NCAA tournament hopes. It’s been a great bounce back year for the conference.
Stock Down: Notre Dame. It was a rough week for the Irish. After Villanova blew Notre Dame out on national T.V., Notre Dame completed it’s terrible week by losing to Rutgers. It is going to be a real challenge for the Irish to get an at-large bid at this point.
Stock Up: Murray St. It is no surprise that the Racers are racking up wins in the Ohio Valley. However, what they’re doing right now is nothing short of amazing. The Racers are 13-0 in conference, have won 11 games in a row, and beat the next best team in the OVC, Morehead St, by 30. The Racers are now rolling towards a Bracket Buster showdown with Morgan St with the momentum of a freight train.
Stock Down: Harvard. There was talk that there might be a chance that the Crimson could get an at-large bid. Not now. In the much anticipated showdown in the Ivy League, Cornell destroyed Harvard and buried any thoughts Harvard had about reaching the NCAA tournament. Looks like Harvard will have to be satisfied with the NIT.
This week’s bracket projections:
Last Four In: California, Marquette, Wichita St, South Carolina
Last Four Out: Illinois, Virginia, Maryland, Connecticut
1.Kansas16.Lehigh/Jackson St Oklahoma City
5.Gonzaga12.South Carolina Spokane
6.Mississippi11.Old Dominion New Orleans
1.Kentucky16.Arkansas St Milwaukee
8.Wake Forest9.Texas A&M
5.BYU12.Marquette San Jose
4.Ohio St13.George Mason
6.Northern Iowa11.Florida Oklahoma City
3.Texas14.College of Charleston
7.Rhode Island10.Arizona Providence
2.West Virginia15.Morgan St
5.Georgia Tech12.Wichita St Spokane
6.Tennessee11.Cincinnati New Orleans
3.Kansas St14.Murray St
2.Michigan St15.Weber St
1.Villanova16.Robert Morris Providence
5.Vanderbilt12.Utah St San Jose
6.New Mexico11.Mississippi St Jacksonville
2.Purdue15.Sam Houston St