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Writer: MSU a bubble team with a Final Four burst

The Detroit News

The Michigan State men’s basketball team could miss the NCAA Tournament.

Or, the Spartans could reach the Final Four.

That’s the take from Scott Gleeson of USA Today, who tapped Michigan State as one of three “fringe teams” with the potential to reach the Final Four in a story published Tuesday.

One of the reasons, per usual, is the coach, Gleeson writes.

“Never count out a Tom Izzo team,” he wrote. “That was the lesson in 2015 when the Spartans stunningly reached the Final Four as a No. 7 seed.

“This year’s team (15-10, 7-5) is young and the growing pains have shown all season long, but most notably in an ugly loss to Northeastern on Dec. 18 without leading scorer Miles Bridges.”

Gleeson mentioned MSU’s tough nonconference slate (losses to Kentucky, Arizona, Duke and Baylor), and the blossoming of Bridges, the Spartans’ freshman star, following an ankle injury.

“... Izzo has a talented team with loads of inexperience yet also with loads of potential to blossom at just the right time.”

Saint Mary’s and Iowa State, led by Flint Beecher product Monte Morris, round out Gleeson’s trio.