Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Buy or sell each Big Ten team in 2024 NCAA Tournament?

The Big Ten will send six bids to March Madness with hopes of crowning a champion for the first time since 2000.

Wisconsin v Illinois
Wisconsin v Illinois / David Berding/GettyImages
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Michigan State Spartans

It got a bit dicey considering the high volume of bid stealers in this year’s NCAA Tournament, but Tom Izzo’s Spartans are in the dance once again, keeping the Spartan’s NCAA Tournament streak alive at 26-straight seasons.

For the entirety of the 2023-24 campaign, the Spartans have struggled, failing to find any sort consistency whatsoever.

Strong predictive metrics seemed to tilt the scale in Michigan State’s favor but it's been a rather uninspiring year considering the fact Michigan State started the season with such high expectations, entering the year ranked 4th in the Preseason Top 25.

Earning a nine seed out of the West, the Spartans will face Mississippi State -- an excellent defensive-minded team that defends the perimeter while boasting immense physicality.

It is an interesting matchup for Sparty because one of their glaring weaknesses is their frontcourt and Mississippi State’s Tolu Smith can provide numerous problems for the Spartans down low.

If the Spartans can get past Mississippi State, that will (likely) set up a matchup with North Carolina in the Round of 32.

Buy or Sell the Spartans?

Michigan State is a perplexing team to digest because they have tremendous talent on paper, meaning their ceiling in the NCAA Tournament is higher than most teams with double-digit losses in the NCAA Tournament. 

On the other hand, looking at their 33-game sample size, they have not done much to impress the eyes of college basketball fans and it might be unrealistic to perceive that the Spartans, somehow, finally find their spark on college basketball’s biggest stage -- the NCAA Tournament.

Michigan State might have the most favorable draw out of the 8/9 game considering they draw the “weakest” one seed, but it's hard to bank on a team that hasn’t shown much since the start of the season. Sell the Spartans.