Izzo’s Spartans trying for late push to improve NCAA chances

Michigan State is trying to make a late push that improves its chances of earning an NCAA Tournament bid. The Spartans helped themselves in the past week with upsets of No. 4 Ohio State and No. 5 Illinois. But they followed those with Sunday’s loss at Maryland. The Spartans haven’t missed the NCAA Tournament since 1997. That was during coach Tom Izzo’s second season. Also this week, North Carolina and Xavier helped their chances to reach the tournament with weekend wins against ranked opponents. Meanwhile, Indiana and Minnesota lost momentum toward securing a bid.