Playing to Dance: Michigan State at Michigan The Enlightened Spartan: Playing to Dance: Michigan State at Michigan

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Playing to Dance: Michigan State at Michigan

Wow, when was the last time a Michigan State vs Michigan basketball game actually into MATTERED? MSU, annually a lock for the tournament, finds itself matching its wits against the dreaded scUM in Ann Arbor, where they are scraping to get into the tourney. Vegas has the Yellow Bellies favored by 1 at home. When was the last time scUM was favored in this rivalry? Back in the 1990s is my guess, in the years of the Scab Five, with Tractor Trailor & the Crooks.

Tipoff today: 2 pm EST, CBS television.

The Spartans already lost at home to the Yellow Bellies, so it is tough to imagine the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee selecting the Spartans over scUM if scUM wins today and sweeps the regular season series.... unless Mich State were to advance to the Big Ten title game. But, if scUM doesn't win today, they will likely need to win the Big Ten tourney to win.

Michigan State is 16-12 overall, 9-8 Big Ten. scUM is 17-12, 8-9 Big Ten.

Bracketology: Lunardi has Mich State as a #10 East seed while scUM is one of the last four in at #12 East.
Rpi Ratings: RealTime RPI has Michigan State at #43 and a #9 schedule strength, 3-10 vs Top 50 and 1-8 vs top 25, while scUM is 58 and a #24 schedule strength, 2-8 vs Top 50 and 0-7 vs Top 25.
Sagarin Ratings: Mr. MIT has Michigan State at #36 and a #4 schedule strength and scUM at #43 and a #10 schedule strength.

ES guess? MSU is out to avenge its earlier loss to the Yellow Bellies at home and should be inspired in a raucous environment. If Mich State doesn't win, it likely doesn't deserve the tourney... but the ES sees a tough battle with a little more offense out of the Spartans. MSU 68, scUM 62.