Other than pride, entering the NCAA tournament hot and competing for a Big Ten tournament title, what exactly are the Michigan State Spartans playing for in their conference tournament? Don’t get me wrong, those are all cool things, but they aren’t the main thing.
Believe it or not, the Spartans are playing for a No. 1 seed in the big dance. Although everything I listed above all correlate with this, Michigan State is simply playing for a top seed in the tournament. That may seem kind of hard to believe, considering that this team dropped three out of its last five games, but the Big Ten is brutal.
The winner of the Big Ten conference tournament last year earned a No. 1 seed in the dance and that was Michigan State. The Spartans ended last season on a two-game losing streak and had an overall record of 24-7 before entering the conference tournament.
This season, Michigan State is also 24-7 entering conference play. So, if the Spartans can win the Big Ten tournament then they will once again earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. However, that is way easier said than done.
The obvious favorite to win the tourney is Indiana, but you also have Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin and, of course, Michigan State. Even Illinois and Minnesota have chances to be dark horses in this tournament. With four teams being ranked in the top 10 and five being ranked in the top 25, the Big Ten is the best conference in college basketball. Here is another fun fact. Michigan is ranked No. 6 in the country and the Wolverines are the No. 5 seed in the Big Ten tourney. Yeah, this conference is that good.
Anyways, it will not be easy, but if Michigan State can somehow come out of this tournament alive without a loss, it will receive a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.