Michigan State may have won the Big Ten Tournament championship on Sunday, but the Spartans wound up on the No. 2 line in the NCAA Tournament bracket — and in the same region as Duke, the No. 1 overall team.This decision by the tournament selection committee frustrated Spartans coach Tom Izzo, who wasn’t shy in expressing his displeasure with the placement of his team. “For a couple of years now, including in 2016, I don’t think we did,” Izzo said when asked if Michigan State got what they deserved (via MLive). Michigan State in 2016 was placed as the No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region, behind 1-seed Virginia, despite being ranked No. 2 in the AP Poll and winning the Big Ten Tournament over No. 13 Purdue. The Spartans, of course, were upset by No. 15 Middle Tennessee State in the first round that year.MORE: Full NCAA Tournament bracketThe Spartans (28-6, 16-4 in Big Ten) took down Michigan 65-60 — their third win of the season over the Wolverines — to claim the Big Ten Tournament title on top of their partial share of the regular season title. Michigan State finished with 13 Quadrant 1 wins, the most of anyone in the country. Yet, if they want to make the Final Four, they most likely will have to get by the Blue Devils. It certainly doesn’t help that Michigan also scored a 2-seed, getting placed in the West Region alongside the lowest-ranked 1-seed in Gonzaga. Izzo accused the the committee of having already completed the bracket ahead of the Big Ten championship — the last game before the bracket was revealed — regardless of whether the Spartans won the game.”Of course not, it’s already done,” Izzo said of the bracket. “We’ve been saying that for years. I don’t think they do. I’m sure the committee will say they do.”Michigan State will play No. 15 seed Bradley in the first round on Thursday, with a potential matchup against either Louisville or Big Ten foe Minnesota in the second round.
Despite the mistake, Perkins played a big role for the Bulldogs as he scored 16 points with four 3-pointers and six assists. He committed only two turnovers.”He’s a much more mature player, a much better player now and we’ve been an incredible program and had an incredible run with him at the helm,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said.”He’s been kind of a lightning rod over the years because our program garners so much attention and he’s handled it with grace. If you went and asked those guys in the room they would hands down say he is the best teammate they ever had.” His teammate Zach Norvell came to the defense of Perkins, however, and said it wasn’t fair to place the blame solely on that play.”It wasn’t just that play. There were plays throughout the whole game that we wish we’d have done differently,” Norvell said. “I don’t want to take this jersey off because once I do, I’ll never get to put it back on. It sucks we lost the game, but it hurts even more feeling like you let the people you love down.” Gonzaga point guard Josh Perkins shouldered the blame after making a costly mistake in the final seconds of his team’s 75-69 Elite Eight loss to Texas Tech on Saturday. The Bulldogs were down by two when Perkins reached out of bounds and fouled Matt Mooney, knocking the ball out of his hand while the Texas Tech guard tried to inbound it. The sequence resulted in a technical that allowed the Red Raiders to secure the victory at the free-throw line. Josh Perkins gets called for the technical foul after reaching over the sideline on the inbounds pass. pic.twitter.com/izpYlBMXFe— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 31, 2019When asked about the series after the game, Perkins called it a “bonehead play” and said it’s something he will think about forever. “The whole time, we were saying ‘believe’ in the huddle and we thought no matter what we were going to win the game, but the violation kind of put things to a halt,” Perkins told reporters, via Yahoo Sports. “It’s hard for me not to feel like that’s all on me. To be honest, that’s all I’m thinking about right now.” Related News March Madness 2019: Gonzaga G Josh Perkins gets costly flagrant in final seconds against Texas Tech