March Madness: Here’s Michigan State’s NCAA Tournament Draw
Michigan State is the 7th seed in the East Region for the 2023 NCAA tournament. The Spartans will play 10th-seeded USC on Friday in Columbus at 12:15 p.m.
The Spartans (19-12) are trying to make it out of the tourney's first weekend for the first time since 2019. That figures to be a tall task with No. 2 seed and Big East champion Marquette (28-6) likely waiting for MSU in the Round of 32.
But with how volatile this State team plays, its NCAA tournament opener vs. USC (22-10), which finished as runner-up in the Pac-12, doesn't figure to be a gimme. As we've witnessed multiple times this season, the Spartans can beat anyone but can also lose to anyone on any given day.
The No. 1 seed in MSU's region is Purdue. The Spartans' frequent tournament boogeyman, Duke, is also in their region.
If MSU fails to make the Sweet 16 this year, it would be the third straight NCAA tournament where the Spartans don't survive the opening weekend. It would also mark the second streak of three consecutive seasons without a Sweet 16 appearance for Michigan State in the last eight years, an ignominious feat once unthinkable for a program that had become synonymous with March Madness success.
The last time MSU put together two streaks of three straight campaigns without a Sweet 16 appearance within a span of eight or fewer seasons was 1992-1997, the latter two seasons of which were Tom Izzo's first at the helm of the program.
Sunday's NCAA tournament selection marked the 25th straight appearance in the Big Dance for MSU. That's the second-longest active streak, behind only Kansas, which made the NCAA tourney for the 33rd consecutive time on Sunday.
Michigan State's streak of qualifying for 25 consecutive NCAA tournaments is the third-longest streak in the history of college basketball, behind North Carolina's stretch of 27 straight appearances from 1975 through 2001 and Kansas' aforementioned streak.
Sunday's March Madness selection set a record for coaches as Izzo became the first one ever in the history of college basketball to qualify for 25 consecutive NCAA tournaments. It's one hell of an accomplishment, but you have to figure Izzo is more concerned with his record in March of late.
Izzo has more Final Fours (8) than all of his coaching counterparts in the Big Ten, ACC, and Pac-12 combined (5). He has more Final Fours in his 28 seasons at Michigan State than 56 of the 65 Power Five schools have over their entire histories. But MSU's late-season results the last few years haven't been up to the lofty standards he's set.
MSU is just 7-8 in March over the last three seasons. That's a .467 winning percentage. For comparison's sake, the Spartans' combined March record over Izzo's prior 25 years was 116-49, good for a .703 winning percentage.