John U. Bacon on March Madness

Mar 19, 2015

Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo.
Credit user: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class David Danals / Wikimedia Commons

The NCAA Men's Division One Basketball Championship or "March Madness" is officially underway.

Tomorrow, 7th seed Michigan State will face 10th seed Georgia for the chance to continue in the tournament.

On Sunday Michigan State lost in overtime to Wisconsin in the final game of the Big Ten Tournament.

Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon says that their loss stems from a larger problem.

"They are not good at shooting free throws, which almost any game that comes down to the wire comes down to a foul contest, which means you've got to make some free throws," Bacon says.

According to Bacon, the Spartans are shooting 63%, making them one of the worst in the country. While their first competitor in March Madness, Georgia, is in the top 10 for free throw shooting.

"If it comes down to the wire, sad to say, do not bet on the Spartans," Bacon says.

However, even with MSU's problems, many pundits have been predicting Michigan State to make the final four, and Bacon thinks this is because of Tom Izzo's coaching.

"Tom Izzo has got a way of getting his teams where they need to be," Bacon says.

The first game in the tournament will be the first time teams are faced with the idea that a loss means they're done for the year. Bacon says if the Spartans can make it past the difficult first game then they might have a chance at the semi-finals.

Many have favored Kentucky to win the tournament. While Bacon agrees they have a chance at winning, he's rooting against them because of the ethics of their coach, John Calipari.

"Wherever he coaches, within a few years they're on probation," Bacon says.

But Bacon says that there's no proof of anything at Kentucky. However, he says Calipari’s recruitment of freshman who leave after one year and don't take any second-semester classes, while being legal under NCAA rules, is “shady.”

"I'm not a fan. I'll be surprised if Kentucky's not on probation after he leaves," Bacon says, calling his coaching "bad for college basketball."