The Michigan State basketball team will be without guard Eron Harris, who requires season-ending surgery following his injury at Purdue on Saturday.
The Michigan State Spartans lost more than a basketball game yesterday. The 80-63 loss to Purdue was bad enough for a team fighting to stay on the right side of the NCAA Tournament bubble, but the Spartans saw guard Eron Harris go down with an injury in the process.
It didn’t look good from the start, and today Michigan State has confirmed that Harris will be out for the rest of the season.
Michigan State hasn’t missed the NCAA Tournament since 1997 but face that possibility this season if they can’t come up with a big win or two in the final weeks of the season. Harris has had an up and down season but ranks second on the team in minutes played as is the Spartans’ third-leading scorer. His presence will certainly be missed down the stretch.
The Spartans are currently in as 10 seeds in the most recent predictions from ESPN and CBS, and aren’t listed as among the last four in the field from either of those sites. That means there remains some margin for error, but not much and the loss of Harris doesn’t bode well for improving the team’s tournament resume.
At 16-11, Michigan State has played a very tough schedule but hasn’t come away with any headlining wins, particularly out of conference. The Spartans beat Wichita State for their best non-conference win, but the Shockers may or may not even be a tournament team themselves depending on which bracketology site you prefer.
An 8-6 Big Ten record looks good, although the conference is considered to be having a down year compared to recent seasons. A .500 Big Ten record is usually a good barometer for Tournament status but this has been anything but a typical season, especially for Michigan State.
The Spartans have four games remaining in regular season conference play with home games against Nebraska and Wisconsin before hitting the road to close out the regular season against Illinois and Maryland. Finishing 2-2 or better should have Michigan State in good position, but it remains to be seen how much the loss of Harris hurts their chances to get the job done.