NCAA tournament preview: No. 3 Michigan State

While the MI hockey team awaits its destiny in the looming NCAA Tournament, five players already have reason to celebrate after earning all-conference awards Tuesday afternoon. He hasn't often caught fire this season, but if that happens, watch out.

Some think they can be good, especially if a team needs to get healthy. The day before last week's Patriot League championship game, Bucknell senior Zach Thomas - the league's player of the year - was at Geisinger presenting a project with his senior design team. Michigan State are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games and Michigan State are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games. Bucknell lost 93-81 at North Carolina on November 15 and fell 80-78 three days later at Maryland.

They are doing things the right way and are easy to pull for. Freshman defenseman Quinn Hughes was named to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team and was also a second-team conference selection. When we get on runs we can be risky. And one of the wins in that stretch was CJ Jackson's buzzer beater to beat in in Bloomington.

Bucknell coach Nathan Davis yells instructions to his team.

In wake of FBI investigations, reports of wire-taps, and purchased players, fans can find solace in the fact that the Bison have built a program filled with legitimate student-athletes that excel like few others on the court, and they are even more impressive off it.

Reports have come out that forward Bruce Moore will be suspended for the Friday night showdown for breaking team rules. However, Izzo said the Spartans have been working on some of the issues that befell them in that game, specifically high ball screen defense and moving the ball better on offense.

Moore was suspended for the entire Patriot League tournament and Bucknell still ran away with the title.

That's because Bucknell and Middle Tennessee State share numerous same upset factor qualities.

After a close call making the NCAA Tournament a year ago, Michigan State is seeded highly once again, which comes with an opportunity for a greater upset.

Marody notched 27 points in 24 conference games, becoming just the third Wolverine ever to be the Big Ten scoring champion.

Rebounds: Team (40.8); Nick Ward 7.2; Miles Bridges 6.9; Jaren Jackson Jr. The Bison shoot over 70 percent from the stripe as a team. The Wolverines hold opponents to 63.5 points per game and are fifth nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency per KenPom.com. That truly is what we love about the month of March.

Michigan State and Bucknell play at 7:10 p.m. ET on Friday, March 16. Montana has only dropped two games since Christmas, and it's a pretty stingy team in the paint. They honestly don't care who wins the awards.

The Spartan's title hopes stay alive going into Saturday.

  • Julie Sanders