Cassius Winston and Miles Bridges after No. 4 Spartans defeated No. 3 Boilermakers.
East Lansing — Michigan State is coming off its biggest victory of the season and by Monday afternoon might be ranked No. 1 in the country.
However, according to the NCAA Tournament committee, the Spartans aren’t even a top-10 team. The committee released its top 16 teams on Sunday and Michigan State checks in at No. 11 overall, giving it a 3-seed in the South Region.
Virginia, Villanova, Xavier and Purdue were all given No. 1 seeds while Auburn, Kansas, Duke and Cincinnati earned No. 2 seeds. Clemson and Texas Tech rank ahead of Michigan State while North Carolina is at No. 12. Tennessee, Ohio State, Arizona and Oklahoma round out the top 16.
Michigan State (24-3) knocked off Purdue on Saturday, and has a victory over No. 12 North Carolina. Two of its losses are to No. 7 Duke and No. 14 Ohio State.
However, the Spartans are being pulled down by their overall strength of schedule, which is No. 94 in the nation. Michigan State is also just 3-2 in Quadrant 1 games, which are classified as games against top-30 teams at home, top-50 teams at neutral sites and top-75 teams on the road.
Michigan State has four regular-season games remaining and then the Big Ten tournament. It’s there the Spartans have the best chance to move up a seed line.
“Michigan State has about 25 percent of their schedule remaining, “committee chair Bruce Rasmussen said on CBS when the seedings were revealed, “and they’ve got an opportunity to continue to rack up wins and in the conference tournament they have the potential to play some outstanding teams. Michigan State’s still got a lot in front of it.”
The Spartans play at Minnesota on Tuesday followed by a trip to Northwestern on Saturday. The final week includes Illinois at home before closing out the season at Wisconsin.