WHAT'S MORE IMPORTANT REGARDING THE NCAA TOURNAMENT?

     I hear all this talk about Michigan State landing a number one seed in the NCAA men's basketball tournament.  I'm not sure that's all good-- whoever is a number one seed gets a big target on the back.  To me what's more important is geographic location.  And the Spartans, by winning the Big Ten title decisively, would be helped greatly with sites at Dayton, then Indianapolis for two games apiece.  The chances of winning, no matter who they play, I believe is enhanced more by the closeness to home for a variety of different reasons.

     Being a number one seed and sent to a West regional isn't the Spartans' best scenario let alone for any other team who has to travel a ways.  When MSU won the NCAA title in 2000 it traveled to Cleveland, then the Palace and then to Indianapolis to polish off the title.  Close games with plenty of fans on hand.  If it's close fans find a way to get tickets.  And MSU needed its fans in the Palace for close wins over Syracuse and then Iowa State.

     It's not the sole factor, of course, in a team's success.  But I've always believed ACC teams like Duke and North Carolina got terrific breaks by playing early tournament games in their home state.  So even if the Spartans aren't a number one seed, staying close to home is the key-- and Minneapolis is better than nothing because the next site would be indianapolis.  But Dayton would be better, right fans?

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