An inconsistent Internet feed from NCAA.com made the room even more tense as the Spartans eagerly waited to see where they would end up in the NCAA Tournament.
All of a sudden the Internet feed came to and on the screen appeared a No. 3 seed for the Michigan State Spartans and the team got up out of their seats and cheered and congratulated each other on their hard work during the regular season.
“I mean, it’s an honor,” redshirt senior defender, Ryan Keener said. “It’s our whole season’s work and to see that pay off for us is really rewarding, but obviously this is just the start of it. Once you get in the tournament those numbers don’t mean a thing.”
Having such a high seed allows the Spartans to have a first round bye and to host a home game in the second round, but it potentially allows Michigan State to host three home games, which would mean that they would not go on the road until the College Cup in Cary, North Carolina.
“It’s huge to get a seed that high,” redshirt senior forward, Tim Kreutz, said. “We’re a team that likes to play at home. The Red Cedar Rowdies are great. They’re going to come out and support…Hopefully we show up on the first game and try and get a result and that’s what we’re thinking about right now. We aren’t thinking about the next few games, but it’s nice knowing that if you come out and play the way that we expect us to play, that we will be sticking around East Lansing for a little bit.”
Michigan State will play the winner on Sunday, Nov. 23 against either Oakland University (9-6-3) or the University of Kentucky (10-5-4). The Golden Grizzlies and Wildcats will play on Thursday, Nov. 20 in Lexington, Kentucky at 7 p.m.
“In the NCAA Tournament, any game is going to be a competitive game,” Kreutz said. “Everybody in the tournament deserves to be there, whether they won their conference tournament or tough schedule and seem to perform during that tough schedule. Obviously Oakland is a good team. They schedule good teams throughout the whole year…Don’t know much about Kentucky but they are a good team as well.”
In the 2013 NCAA Tournament, the Spartans were the No. 11 overall seed and earned a first round bye. They would defeat the University of Louisville at home in overtime. Michigan State would then go on the road in the Sweet Sixteen and beat Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Their season would come to an end in the Elite Eight in South Bend, Indiana against Notre Dame.
Brooks Laimbeer is the host of Corner Kick for Impact Sports.
Photo: Hannah McEnroe/Impact Sports