With Pitt and North Carolina likely having cemented #1 seeds in the NCAA tournament over the weekend, Michigan State made its pitch for one of the remaining top spots in the Big Dance.
No. 8 Michigan State closed out the regular season with a 62-51 win over No. 19 Purdue Sunday in East Lansing. Kalin Lucas scored 21 points and the Spartans held the Boilermakers to 28 percent shooting.
The Big Ten may be boring to watch, but is undoubtedly one of strongest conferences in the country. At least six teams figure to make the NCAA tournament, with three others likely headed to the NIT. Only Iowa and Indiana fall into the “woefully pathetic” category.
Michigan State (25-5, 15-3) finished the Big Ten season with a four game lead, and could very well win the Big Ten tournament next week in Indianapolis. The Spartans clearly deserve strong consideration for a #1 seed.
Lucas is expected to be named Big Ten player of the year Monday when the conference awards are announced.
Purdue (22-9, 11-7) collapsed down the stretch, struggling offensively throughout the last four games. Robbie Hummel’s lingering back problems have made him almost completely ineffective. Ja’Juan Johnson has become Purdue’s best player, but the Boilers are a very average team right now.
I can’t wait to see Tom Izzo’s bald dome. Stay tuned.