MI women's basketball makes NCAA Tournament as No. 7 seed, plays No

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The Big Ten has taken a beating all season when it comes to national perception.

When picking a champion, think football: Of the past 27 champions, only three - UConn in 1999 and 2014 and Villanova in 2016 - won without being a football-playing member of a power conference at the time. Others like Michigan State and Purdue, also had nothing to worry about, they knew at least they were getting in.

(8) Seton Hall vs. (9) N.C. State - This I think is a tremendous matchup between two teams that are much better than where they are seeded. Only the Pacific-12 Conference has a longer major conference drought back to Arizona in 1997.

Their opponent? The 3 seeded Michigan Wolverines of the Big Ten Conference.

Bucknell won the Patriot League regular season by four games.

Michigan State maybe has one of the more talented teams in the country, but even with four losses, that hasn't shown up much since the beginning of January. Ohio State's Chris Holtmann is arguably the coach of the year in college basketball.

Nana Foulland is a 6-foot-9 center who averages 15.4 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.

Michigan State entered the season as one of the title favorites, and nothing has changed. Michigan State is from the Midwest.

They take on the 14-seed Bucknell Bison in the first round at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

Jay Sarkar will have more information on the tourney tonight on 6 Sports Overtime at 11:20.

Key player: Cassius Winston.

"The next step for us", Izzo said earlier this season, "we have to learn to win big games on big stages". The victor of that contest moves on to meet the victor of the first-round game between No. 2 seed (and subregional host) OR and 15th-seeded Seattle on Sunday.

UConn, Notre Dame, Louisville and Mississippi State are the No. 1 seeds in the women's basketball NCAA Tournament. "And they have a sophomore who is as explosive a scorer as anybody in the nation". MI basketball, having won the Big Ten Tournament, knew it was getting in with an automatic bid. The 7-seed the Wolverines earned is their highest seed ever in five previous NCAA Tournament appearances.

There is another situation that may prompt even more howling than the exclusion of Nebraska. "They can have a bad half and still win".

It's the first time since 1996 that the Mid-American Conference got an at-large bid into the NCAA field. The SEC got eight, the Big 12 seven and the Big East six. "But leagues are usually judged by how their best teams do".

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