THOUGHTS ON THE EVE OF THE MEN'S BIG TEN TOURNAMENT

     Spring break has scattered the MSU students this week, so the basketball team practiced in the Breslin Center auxiliary gymn Wednesday then took the bus to Indianapolis.  That gives the team a full day on site to prepare tomorrow and check out the opening three games-- Michigan vs. Iowa, Minnesota vs. Northwestern and Penn State vs. Indiana.  The Spartans play at noon Friday in the quarter-finals against the Minnesota/Northwestern winner.  That's a tough call-- I guess I like Minnesota by a basket, but who knows.  Northwestern coach Bill Carmody thinks two wins over the Gophers and Michigan State should qualify his team for its first ever NCAA tournament appearance but I disagree.  It didn't help the Big Ten when Cleveland State upset Butler Tuesday night in the Horizon League tournament final.  Both will now be in the NCAA tournament and somewhere the at large bids reduced by one.

     Tom Izzo is not worried about fatigue for his team and indeed fatigue could win his team the title.  He his hoping his depth willl prevail over every team MSU might face.  If the Spartans are to play Michigan it could only be in Sunday's final.  And they've never met in the 11 years of the Big Ten tournament.  It will be interesting to see what happens to the Wolverines if they lose to Iowa, a team that beat them two weeks ago in overtime in Iowa City.

     If the Spartans play in the championship game Sunday they won't even shower before watching the NCAA tournament pairings show in their Indianapolis lockerroom.  And if they win the whole thing, they'd have a 28-5 record and they still believe they'd be in line for a number one seed.  The big question is will they be in a bracket against either Pitt or North Carolina, two teams I believe they would have a difficult time beating.

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