Suzy Merchant and the Spartans Get Slapped In the Face


The Spartans awaited their see and placement last night at the Breslin.  Photo courtesy of Geordon Portice.
The Spartans awaited their see and placement last night at the Breslin. Photo courtesy of Geordon Portice.


Heading into Monday night’s announcement of the brackets for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament I felt it was a foregone conclusion that the MSU Women’s Basketball team would walk away with a #3 seed firmly in grasp. What ended up happening was a slap in the face for every single person associated with this team.

Some will say that being a four seed instead of a three seed isn’t worth getting upset over. I disagree for two major reasons.

First, of all the seedings in the field, the biggest difference between two seeds numbered just one spot away from each other is the three/four seed combination. The only difference between a one seed and a two seed is the color of the jersey during the Elite 8 Round. The two seed and the three seed are both in the lower half of the bracket and won’t truly face stiff competition until meeting up against each other, where once again only home and away jerseys separate the two. The three seed and the four seed face a much different scenario. As the four seed, assuming all outcomes hold true to their seeds, you face the number one team in the region during the Sweet Sixteen. As the number three seed that match-up wouldn’t occur until meeting to win a date into the Final Four.

I wouldn’t be as upset as I am if it weren’t for the team that was given the number three seed, in the same region nonetheless, ahead of the Spartans. Florida State is the #3 seed in the Dallas Region. The same Florida State team that Michigan State beat on the Seminole’s home court by eight points earlier this season. The same FSU team that was ranked lower that MSU in both accredited national polls. The same Seminoles that had a lower RPI than the Spartans. The same team that had a worse record/winning percentage than we did. The same squad that finished third in their conference compared to winning the conference outright by two games like MSU accomplished. That same Florida State team was given a three seed ahead of Michigan State in the exact same region. It’s a slap in the face.

By this point in time we’ve all heard the experts gripe about teams that were selected/left out of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. ESPN analyst Jay Bilas was quoted as saying, “I wonder if they know the ball Is round” in reference to the selection committee and, “this doesn’t pass the laugh test”. I wonder if the women’s selection committee knows the difference between a “W” and an “L”.

Big Ten Coach of the Year Suzy Merchant is saying all of the right things as are the players. They have to; I don’t. Teams don’t want to give locker room material to other squads. The way the NCAA dishes out punishments that don’t fit the crime, they’d probably get fined or suspended. This program is beyond the point of being happy to just get in the tournament. It is a program that is expecting to win. It would be nice if they received the respect they deserved. Did I happen to mention that MSU will probably face Wisconsin-Green Bay as their second round opponent? The same Wisconsin-Green Bay team that has the longest current winning streak in the nation. It’s a slap in the face.