MSU ranked second by Fox Sports, third by three others

The Detroit News
Miles Bridges' return makes Michigan State a favorite to win the Big Ten this season.

With Wednesday's NBA Draft deadline frenzy in the past, the college basketball picture got a whole lot clearer.

And after all the dust settled, Michigan State is ranked No. 2 in Fox Sports' updated top 25 and No. 3 in ESPN, Yahoo! and CBSSports.com. All were unveiled on Thursday.

"With the return of Josh Langford, Nick Ward and Cassius Winston, as well as the arrival of McDonald’s All-American Jaren Jackson Jr., we already had Michigan State in our Top 5 entering the 2018 season — and that was before Miles Bridges decided to return for his sophomore season," Fox Sports' Aaron Torres wrote. "The 17-point-a-game scorer stunned observers by turning down the opportunity to be drafted in the lottery to spend another season in East Lansing and when coupled with the names above, gives Michigan State more than enough to win a national title next season."

Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com wrote: “Four of the Spartans' top five scorers will be back. And Bridges could now become the favorite for National Player of the Year.”

ESPN’s Myron Medcalf wrote: “Izzo’s squad isn't higher in this poll because it's not clear if the Spartans addressed their challenges with turnoversand free throws.

Yahoo’s Jeff Eisenberg wrote: “Only a handful of times in Tom Izzo’s decorated career has he had a championship-caliber roster. Next season should be one of those years.”

Arizona, which lost Lauri Markkanen and Kobi Simmons to the NBA, is ranked No. 1 by all four websites. ESPN, Yahoo! and CBSSports.com all pick Kansas second.

​Michigan State is also among Fox Sports' biggest winners at the draft deadline, with Bridges coming back as part of a talented, young nucleus that makes the Spartans an overwhelming Big Ten favorite.