Michigan State can still hold two trophies aloft-- one's a possibility the other is a longshot to be sure, but at 24-7 more wins can get piled up this season. No games will be easy from here on out and none are in the Breslin Center-- that's the downside. The upside is that the Spartans are still tough to play and when they take care of the ball and shoot well they're tough against anyone.
I think the match ups are the only way to determine what their chances are in the NCAA tournament. If they are a five seed, perhaps the most likely guess on a Monday in front of the Sunday pairings show, then of course they could lose to a 12 seed in the first round. But they could also win a couple of games, get into the sweet 16 and have some confidence and momentum. Clearly they need their stars to play like stars and I mean like real stars. No ifs ands or buts. They probably will get called for a lot of fouls because that seems to be their reputation, fair or not.
I don't think this is Tom Izzo's most talented team, but it certainly is capable of good play if it is also capable of slumps during a game. If MSU gets a slot in the Midwest Regional, that would be added incentive to win those first two games and get to Ford Field in Detroit where it would have an enormous fan advantage. That won't guarantee victories in and of itself, but it won't hurt either.
We're asked right now to select an MVP. I pick Drew Neitzle, more because it is a cumulative award to me. Whatever you think of Neitzel, when he plays well the Spartans tend to win and when he struggles they struggle as a team. I think he's MSU's MVP in a year that has been disappointing for him at times, but still has chapters yet to play out.