Michigan State is coming off a close loss to Wisconsin in the Big Ten tournament final. They had a double-digit lead late in the game, but coughed it up. Tom Izzo is great in the NCAA Tournament, so I have high expectations for the Spartans.
Georgia wasn’t expected to have an NCAA Tournament-bound team to start the season. Head coach Mark Fox had his best record at Georgia since he took over the job in 2009. This will be his second tournament appearance with the team.
Can Georgia pull off the upset and beat Michigan State?
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Michigan State lost a lot of talent to the NBA this offseason. The Spartans aren’t known for having rebuilding years, but this was the closest Tom Izzo has came to having one in a long time. MSU still has a ton of upperclassman talent. Actually, their top five scorers are all either juniors or seniors. Travis Trice and Denzel Valentine are the leaders on the team and do a great job taking care of the ball.
Georgia comes into the NCAA Tournament from the bubble. You could argue that the Bulldogs don’t deserve a spot. They have a laundry list of bad losses (Georgia Tech, Minnesota, South Carolina). They haven’t impressed me much as the season went on. They turn the ball over way too much.
Tom Izzo always gets his teams prepared for the NCAA Tournament. The lost some big games early in the season, but now they are playing their best basketball. Georgia is just lucky to have made the tournament. Sparty will roll into the third round.
Prediction: #7 Michigan State Spartans
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.