Spartans Report: Getting Inside
Kalin Lucas was asked after his Michigan State team’s 70-63 loss at Michigan on Saturday what he would tell to the NCAA selection committee regarding his team’s worthiness for a tournament bid.
“Look at our resume,” Lucas said.
That they will, but nothing on that resume screams “lock.”
The Spartans end the regular season 17-13 overall and 9-9 in the Big Ten after being swept by the Wolverines for the first time since 1997. And it appears Michigan State is in a win-or-else situation entering the Big Ten Tournament.
The Spartans finished in a four-way tie fourth but have the No. 7 seed and will take on No. 10 seed Iowa in the first round of the tournament Thursday in Indianapolis. All of the bracket gurus have Michigan State in the field at this point, but a loss to the 10th-place Hawkeyes might be the thing that kills this program’s 13-year streak of NCAA bids.
After Saturday’s loss, coach Tom Izzo pointed out the fact that his team played one of the nation’s toughest nonleague schedules, and struggled early while star point guard Kalin Lucas was recovering from surgery on his ruptured left Achilles tendon.
Izzo doesn’t want to speculate too much on his team’s chances, though. He just wants to win enough to make a bid a certainty.
“I’m gonna do what we can do to win,” Izzo said, “and there will be no politicking or begging, I can promise you that.”
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