MSU chasing No. 1 seed
Michigan State capped off its biggest week of the young college basketball season Saturday with a 68-61 win over No. 20 BYU. The Spartans are now 8-1, ranked in the top-10, and should be favorites in every game they play for the next two months. That doesn't mean they'll win them all, of course. Texas, perhaps the nation's hottest team, visits The Palace in two weeks, and January includes tricky home dates with Ohio State and Illinois.
But it's not unreasonable to expect MSU to go undefeated until it visits Indiana for an ESPN Gameday game Feb. 16. In fact, looking at the remaining schedule and barring injuries there's no reason MSU can't finish the regular season somewhere in the 27-4 neighborhood, which should be good enough for a No. 1 NCAA tournament seed at Ford Field.
The Spartans aren't one of the top four teams now. North Carolina, Texas, Kansas, Memphis and Duke are all playing a shade better. They may not even be at the end of the year. But a four-loss season (or something of that nature) will help shape the perception of a program as annually competitive as MSU. Tack on a Big Ten championship (it's either MSU or Indiana) and at least one win the Big Ten tournament, and the Spartans have a resume built for March.