Cinderella: No. 7 Michigan State
It sounds strange to consider a Tom Izzo led Spartan team as a “Cinderella” to make it out of the top half of the bracket.
However, his year’s Michigan State team is different than in the past. The Spartans struggled to fill the void left by their senior leader Denzel Valentine, who is currently playing for the Chicago Bulls. Miles Bridges was the only unanimous selection to the All-Freshman team and was the conference’s freshman of the year as well. Bridges led the Spartans in scoring.
Freshman Nick Ward helped anchor the Spartans frontcourt and averaged roughly 14 points-per-game. The only other Spartan to average double figures on the season was senior guard Eron Harris, who is now out for the season.
Michigan State enters the conference tournament losers of their last two games, but only by a combined six points. Izzo is one of the best coaches in college basketball, and the Spartans should be feared strictly because Izzo always has his teams prepared to play their best basketball in March.