Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Sports | By Toni Houston

Michigan Basketball gets 3 seed, but deserved to play in Detroit

Michigan Basketball gets 3 seed, but deserved to play in Detroit

If the Spartans get past Bucknell, they'll play either No. 6 seed TCU or the victor of the play-in game between Arizona State and Syracuse. Cincinnati and Purdue are No. 2s that could be headed for early exits, in part because both are overseeded. The Jayhawks eliminated the Spartans, 90-70, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament past year in Tulsa, Okla.

The biggest crutch in Simpson's game continues to be his free throw shooting, converting on just under 52 percent of his attempts this year.

How they make a run: With Winston spreading the floor and Bridges, Ward and Jackson crashing through the paint, Michigan State's top-10 offense forms a wrecking ball that smashes through the tournament.

Central Michigan University is making its first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2013 and its fourth overall. UM won the tournament title.

MSU's record is 1-5 on the April weekend of the big dance since the glorious night they cut down the nets after beating Florida in 2000. "We don't want to be a team that showed up and wasn't ready to play, we want to make sure we're prepared to give our best against MI".

So even with their body of work this season, a 27-5 mark and a close loss to Central Michigan in the MAC title game, the Bulls were anxious.

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Defending national champion SC and A'ja Wilson await as a possible Elite Eight matchup for UConn in the Albany Regional.

And the field is rounded out with Seton Hall Pirates, an 8-seed, versus 9-seed North Carolina State.

This Friday, the #5 ranked Spartans are seeded at position three in the Midwest Region.

UConn, which has been a No. 1 seed every year since 2007, opens up against 16-seed Saint Francis (Pennsylvania) on Saturday morning.

They wanted to claim the MAC autobid again this year, to not leave the postseason decision up to a committee, again. Last year, the only one to get that far was No. 11 Xavier.

MI (22-9) entered the final week of the regular season on the tournament bubble, but it earned a crucial 71-65 victory over then 13th-ranked Maryland in its final game on February 22. Two of those losses came to the Cardinals. If Notre Dame advances, the Irish would head out west to potentially face No. 2 seed OR if the seeds hold. Buffalo, Creighton, Minnesota and Oklahoma got in. They seem to struggle most with three and four guard lineups, see MI in a 76-64 loss in the Big Ten tourney semifinals.

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