5. Michigan State Spartans (19-5)
vs. RPI 51-100 teams: 5-0
Tom Izzo has earned the nickname “Mr. March” for a reason. Seven Final Fours in the past two decades is an incredible accomplishment, but his Michigan State Spartans will be playing this year’s NCAA Tournament with a gigantic chip on their shoulders.
Coming into the Big Ten Tournament, Michigan State was ranked No. 2 in the country and as a borderline No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament projections. A week later, the Spartans have won three straight games against Ohio State, No. 18 Maryland and No. 13 Purdue for the Big Ten Tournament title, yet have dropped to a No. 2 seed. What?
Yes, I’m calling a No. 2 seed underrated strictly because Michigan State deserved the No. 1 seed more than just about anybody — other than Kansas. However, the Spartans already have a win over Kansas this season as well as quality victories over Providence, Louisville, Maryland (twice), Wisconsin and Purdue.
The Spartans are 20-4 versus RPI top 150 teams and have just one poor loss against Nebraska this season.
You’re telling me the No. 2 team in college basketball before winning the Big Ten Tournament falls to a No. 2 seed in March Madness? Unbelievable.
Next: Fear the Cats