This Bracket Bleeds GREEN
A fair warning about this 'Bleeding Green' tournament bracket ... it absolutely Oozes Green …
If they’re going to get there, they have a very tough road to travel down … one of the toughest in the bracket.
But that’s the beauty of Tom Izzo’s teams. They love ugly. They thrive on ugly. When they're not supposed to win, they find a way - just take a look back one year ago.
If I'm going to dream up a path for a 2010 Spartan championship, this is the road I want them taking. It may not be the prettiest and it's certainly not the most realistic (though not impossible) but this is the path that would leave all other programs sitting back saying 'MSU truly is the best program out there - no questions asked.'
MSU vs. NMSU
It’s land grant vs. land grant. State vs. State. But when it comes to program vs. program, it’s not even close. I don’t mean to discredit the Aggies’ efforts of making it to the tournament, but that’s all they’re going to be celebrating. MSU moves on to play another day after pulling away in the second half, dismissing the Aggies by double digits.
MSU 68 – NMSU 55
MSU vs. Maryland.
Maryland isn’t going to lose to Houston. So MSU will meet them on Sunday in a heated battle of co-conference champions. After the Spartans win a mild game over NMSU, it’s this game that kicks the Spartans into true dark horse contention. The season-long dream of seeing Kalin Lucas take over a game comes alive as Lucas matches the Terps’ Greivis Vasquez point for point, pulling the Spartans away in the final minute to pull out a four-point victory, along with a trip to St. Louis.
MSU 62 – MD 58
MSU vs. Kansas
Step one; avoid first round exit -Check. Step two; have a leader emerge to take over the court - Check. Step three; defeat a perennial #1 seed when no one outside of East Lansing expects you to -Check! MSU wins this game for the same reason the Spartans beat Louisville and Connecticut last season - They couldn’t. Everyone wrote off the Spartans before they played those consecutive #1 seeds last year, and this year will be no different. But as Raymar faces his potential last game head on, he plays his best game as a Spartan, pulling down board after board. He and co-team MVP Kalin Lucas get the Spartans past the Jayhawks … again, busting 90% of the nation's brackets.
MSU 72 - KU 71
MSU vs. OSU
Tom Izzo said earlier this season he would like another crack at Ohio State … it didn’t happen in the Big Ten Tournament, so a re-match is only fitting with a berth into the Final Four on the line. A healthy Kalin Lucas continues his amazing play in the tournament, scoring 20+ points for the third game in a row, edging Evan Turner, who doesn’t connect on any last second heroics despite overtime. Ohio State may have won the Big Ten Tourney, but Izzo guides the Spartans past Ohio State in the Elite Eight to earn yet another trip to the Final Four.
MSU 68 - OSU 66 OT
MSU vs. SYR
It would be nice to play an easier team here, but if the Spartans are going to win it all, why not go through all the top seeds out there. There is no better way for Izzo to win a championship this year than by taking out both Kansas and Syracuse in the same tournament. 'Cuse may have the experience of Jim Boeheim behind them, but in this game Draymond unleashes a little ‘beast’ within himself, earning a double-double pushing MSU past the Orangemen in another surprise upset.
MSU 71 – SYR 63
MSU vs. Duke
Do I think Duke is good enough to make the Final Four? If they played in the Midwest region, definitely not, but Duke was given a gift from the selection committee playing in the South regional and they end up cruising their way straight into the Championship game against the Spartans. And now we have the epic showdown every Spartan fan has been waiting for. It’s Izzo vs. Krzyzewski. It’s the game that officially puts Spartan Basketball on the map, ending all questions as to whether MSU is one of the ‘elite’ programs or not. It's the final collegiate game for Raymar Morgan, and he does indeed "go out with a bang" as he so desires. A double-double with 20+ points sends the Spartans past Duke delivering MSU its third NCAA championship. An NCAA championship with tournament wins over Kansas, Syracuse and Duke ends all debate as to whether MSU is indeed the best program in the land (the answer is yes). And Izzo goes home with a smile, a second ring to add to his collection ... with a third the next thing on his mind.
MSU 74 - Duke 70