Following its stellar start to the season, Michigan State is set to be the nation’s new No. 1 team when the AP and coaches polls are released on Monday following Saturday’s 76-33 victory over Binghamton.
The 9-0 Spartans are expected to hop over No. 1 Kentucky, which lost to UCLA on Thursday, and No. 2 Maryland, which fell to North Carolina in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge on Tuesday.
The Spartans moved up to the No. 1 spot in the CBS Sports’ daily Top 25 (and one) rankings on Friday.
This game was basically over from the opening whistle, after Michigan State pulled off one of the cooler plays following a tip-off that I’ve ever seen.
The recipient of that alley-oop, Denzel Valentine outscored the Bearcats by himself in the first half (13 to 12) and finished with 13 points, 12 rebounds and four assists. Eron Harris got a bit more on track again as well, scoring 11 and dishing out five assists.
Simply put, the Spartans have been the most impressive team throughout the first month of the season, and are well-deserving of the No. 1 ranking. They not only have the best resume — with wins over Kansas, Providence and Louisville — but also have just looked like the most complete team so far. Valentine is a legitimate national player of the year contender, Bryn Forbes has been great in support, and the team still has upside once it gets Deyonta Davis and Harris more fully acclimated to their roles.
It’s been a great start for them. Now let’s see if they can continue to build momentum throughout the year as Tom Izzo teams typically do.