Last season, the Spartans were bounced early for the third straight year from the NCAA tournament. Syracuse broke the hearts of millions with a soul crushing 55-53 win. This was a 3-11 matchup that busted a lot of brackets. Everyone just expects more from the guys up in East Lansing. So, let’s break down the 2018-2019 Michigan State Spartans.
Head Coach: Tom Izzo
Key Returners: Cassius Winston, Matt McQuaid, Josh Langford, Nick Ward
Key Additions: Marcus Bingham Jr., Foster Loyer, Gabe Brown, Thomas Kithier, Aaron Henry
Key Losses: Miles Bridges, Jaren Jackson Jr.
Key Games: Kansas (Indianapolis), UCLA, @Louisville, Purdue, @Purdue, @Michigan, Michigan
Tom Izzo has been the coach of Michigan State for actually my entire life. He took the reigns in 1995 and only has one national championship from 2000 to show for it. And I thought Bill Self should be on the hot seat. Seriously, what is this guy doing up there that would keep them in an 18 year rut? While he may not win championships, his team is always ready to make some noise in March. Well, except for the last three years. Has Izzo lost his touch? Maybe, maybe not, all I know is that this dude is not going anywhere. He is Michigan State Basketball. The only other person that is associated more with MSU is Magic Johnson. Enough about the coach, how about this team. They are returning some serious talent. They lost arguably their best two players in Bridges and Jackson, but they have reloaded with some all-star freshman. Junior Guard Cassius Winston is my preseason favorite to win player of the year in the Big 10.
Prediction: Sparty will go 25-5 in the regular season. The Big 10 is going to be a cake walk for them. They will win the regular season title then cruise though the Big 10 Tournament until they meet Michigan in the finals. They will win that battle, but just barely. As for the NCAA Tournament, I think they take a 2 seed and finally get over their slump. I can see Izzo taking his guys to the Elite 8.