Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spartans Clinch First NCAA Bid Since 2008

By the smallest of margins, Michigan State looks to be the final at-large team in the NCAA field. MSU ends the 2011-2012 season in a tie for 15th place in the Pairwise with Northern Michigan and Merrimack.

The first tiebreaker is actually the head to head comparisons (not RPI). MSU wins the comparison over Northern. Northern wins it over Merrimack, and Merrimack wins it over MSU. This means everyone is 1-1, so that is why we fall back to the RPI.

MSU   .5354
NMU  .5307
Merrimack  .5300

Merrimack thus is eliminated since they have the lowest RPI, and we fall back to the comparisons which MSU beats Northern, so MSU is the last team in. Even if you just use the straight RPI as the tiebreaker, MSU is in with the highest RPI.

All of this is possible due to Air Force winning the Atlantic Conference over RIT tonight and Union holding serve in the ECAC.

So TMM would like to salute the Air Force Academy - not only for their hard work in defending our country and protecting our freedom, but for (obviously) more selfishly, helping MSU out tonight.

Sorry Union - didn't find your fight song on You Tube...... But thank you anyways!!!

So, the Spartans will be heading to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2008. It looks like MSU will be headed to Worcester (vs. #1 overall seed Boston College) or Bridgeport (vs. #3 overall seed Union). We will be breaking down the tournament field and selection process this week - since it should be interesting to see how the bracket falls. The selection show is on ESPNU & ESPN3 at Noon Eastern.

It's been a heck of a season so far for the Spartans, coming off such a disappointing 2010 - 2011 campaign. And it looks like there is still one more weekend left - with the possibility of more. And at least one more weekend where Torey Krug will put on the green & white sweater.

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