Michigan State Basketball: Nightmare matchups in 2018 NCAA Tournament

Kansas players celebrate after winning the Big 12 Tournament championship game against West Virginia

Kansas players celebrate after winning the Big 12 Tournament championship game against West Virginia

The answer is clear in 2018, and the answer lies in the Midwest.

Michigan State fans can celebrate the fact that their Spartans are in the NCAA Tournament for the 21st year in a row.

Bucknell is risky because it's led by a trio of seniors who average a combined 50.6 points per game. Virginia was given a potential Arizona or Kentucky matchup in the Sweet 16, while Kansas has Michigan State or Duke waiting on the other side of the region. However, a big question surrounding them and the rest of the Big Ten teams dancing this March will be the long layoff between games. If the Wolverines are annoyed about that, this should balance it out: The No. 1 seed in their region is Xavier, the weakest of the four. Ohio State's Chris Holtmann is arguably the coach of the year in college basketball.

Notre Dame did not make the NCAA Tournament. Just three teams - 2015 Duke, 2012 Kentucky and 2011 UConn - regularly started more than one freshman.

"It's been great practice for us", sophomore wing Miles Bridges said. I want them to jog it out, but by the time we get going, we play full speed. Bucknell played in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at the Palace in 2006.

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Tournament director Brad Pittman, an associate athletic director at WSU, said he's happy with the teams Wichita got. The Hawkeyes will take on 11th-seeded Creighton at 6 p.m. (ET) Saturday on ESPN2 with the victor of that game moving on to face either No. 3 seed (and subregional host) UCLA or 14th-seeded American on March 19 (all second-round times and TV coverage are yet to be determined).

No. 1 seeds are making a comeback: No. 1 seeds have won eight of the past 11 titles. Defensively, Michigan State yields 64.8 points per game against the opposing teams.

The Spartans will be in a hard and familiar Midwest Region bracket that is loaded with bluebloods in Kansas as the No. 1 seed and Duke as the No. 2 seed.

Four Big Ten teams are going dancing, the league's fewest since 2008. Then you have Oklahoma's Trae Young, who led the nation in points per game (27.4) and assists per game (8.8). Clemson (23-9, ACC at-large) vs. 12.

Upset specials: New Mexico State over Clemson, Charleston over Auburn. No. 11 Arizona State/Syracuse play-in game. Bucknell (25-9, Patriot auto), 7.

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