Although Michigan State did draw a No. 1 seed in the 2012 NCAA tournament, the Spartans don't have an easy road to the Final Four by any means. In fact, it seems that Michigan State falling to Memphis in the round of 32 is a pretty popular upset pick among some of the so-called experts.
If Michigan State does get past the third round (and Memphis or Saint Louis), the challenges won't stop. The Spartans could be facing a Sweet 16 matchup against Louisville and then a potential game against Missouri in the Elite Eight. SB Nation's Chris Dobbertean explained why this makes for such a tough road to the Final Four for the Spartans.
Michigan State will be challenged to make it to the Final Four out of this region, not only because of that possible game with Memphis on Sunday, but because of the possibility of facing a Missouri team that wants to prove it belongs among the elite in a Regional Final. Of course to get there, several quality backcourts (Virginia, Florida, Marquette) stand in the Tigers' way. On the other side of the bracket, the Spartans may very well have to get past rising Louisville to make the round of eight. There's nothing quite like a Tom Izzo vs. Rick Pitino March matchup.
Given the makeup of Michigan State's team, I think the Spartans are up for the challenge. I don't see them laying down for anybody, and it would be surprising to me if they don't make the Final Four.
For more on Michigan State, visit The Only Colors. For more coverage of the Spartans in the 2012 NCAA tournament, visit SB Nation Detroit's StoryStream. Click here for a link to our NCAA bracket 2012.
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