Putting Michigan State’s NCAA Tournament Loss to Middle Tennessee In Historical Perspective
In case you've been living under a rock, or are continuing to cover your eyes and ears and going "LALALALA IT DIDN'T HAPPEN LALALALA" Michigan State lost to Middle Tennessee State 90-81 on Friday.
Vegas favorite, tournament darling, and "sure-fire final four" came to mind in the run up to the tournament, and just like that it's gone in round one.
Let's put this loss into some perspective as tough as it may be.
Syracuse, Arizona, South Carolina, Iowa State, Missouri, Duke, Georgetown.
Ordinarily, joining a list of schools like this one in the basketball realm is a good thing. Unfortunately today it's not, these seven (now eight) schools all share the distinction of having been a 2-seed upset by a 15.
Spartan supporters were outraged to see their team left off of the 1-seed line fresh off of a Big ten tournament win and a #2 ranking in the AP Poll. Some people even referred to them as the fifth #1 seed in this tournament.
I guess Michigan State can thank the committee that they aren't the first 1-seed to ever lose to a 16.
Michigan State was 7-0 in first round games as either a 1 or 2-seed, that unblemished record is gone. In fact they are now 24-6 all-time in tournament opening games.
The only time Michigan State ever lost a first round game as a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 seed was 1995 when a #3 MSU squad was beaten by #14 Weber State 79-72.
Now you can add another loss to that stat.
The 79-72 loss to Weber State was head coach Jud Heathcote's last game in the NCAA tournament as head coach of the Spartans.
Heathcote was in his 60's when he left the program, Tom Izzo is 61 as of this writing.
Heathcote retired after the 1994-95 season.
Izzo should be back in the tournament, he has made no retirement press conferences and he brings in one of the best recruiting classes in the country leading into 2016-17.
However, there's nothing to say that another brutal upset will see him out like it did Heathcote.