There are 16 days, 2 games, and a conference tournament left before Selection Sunday. With their win last night over Purdue, Michigan at the very least have put themselves on the bubble.
The latest bracketology reports are encouraging but these really are nothing more than a “whos hot” list in my mind. If Michigan loses Sunday I am sure they will be “out” next week but if they go on to beat Minnesota I think they will be back “in”. The value of these mock brackets is limited until the final week or so of the season so you have to take them for what they are: an estimate of the bracket if the season ended today.
Lunardi has Michigan as the last team in and Crashing the Dance also has Michigan in the field. Lunardi’s bracket is very interesting because Minnesota, Penn State, and Michigan are all right on the edge. Michigan and Penn State are the last two teams in while Minnesota is the first team out. These last couple games are absolutely huge and it looks like at least one Big Ten bubble team is going to be very disappointed on Selection Sunday.
The Michigan Resume
- Record: 18-11 (8-8)
- RPI: 46
- SOS: 11
- RPI Top 50: 5-8
- RPI 50-100: 5-3
- RPI 100+: 7-0
- Quality wins: UCLA (neutral), Duke, Illinois, Purdue
- Bad losses: Iowa
- Last 10: 5-5
There are some real bright spots on Michigan’s resume including 10 wins versus top 100 teams and five against the top 50. They also have managed to go the distance really without a bad loss, Iowa hurt but they look like they could end up in the top 100 anyways. The issue for Michigan is that they have a lot of losses as well as two road games on deck.
Win one of the final two and Michigan is in business. Their RPI will probably jump a few more spots with a split putting it in the low forties. They might need to beat Northwestern in the first round of the BigTen tournament to be safe but that would be a very solid resume. Despite their inconsistency this year Michigan has a big RPI win in November (UCLA), December (Duke), January (Illinois), and February (Purdue).Lose the last two games and the going gets tough, the RPI could stay in the top 50 but it would be time for some magic in the Big Ten Tournament.
- Beat Wisconsin, Lose to Minnesota: This would result in a 9-9 conference record and also give Michigan a big road win. They would probably want to win their first round Big Ten Tournament game but I think this is a pretty good situation.
- Lose to Wisconsin, Beat Minnesota: Same feelings as above.
- Beat Wisconsin, Beat Minnesota: Lock. 10-8 in conference with 7 wins over top 50 teams. Stone cold lock. Then again the odds are not very good to say the least.
- Lose to Wisconsin, Lose to Minnesota: Need a Big Ten Tournament run if they can’t get it done on the road. This would likely give us the 8 seed which means we would play Northwestern and then Michigan State. If they could win those two they might be in the picture but they will need some luck.
It’s pretty simple, win one of these last two games and Michigan is in good shape heading to Conseco. Winning the first game of the Big Ten tournament isn’t necesarrily going to help but it doesn’t hurt, that’s the key there.
The best chance for a win has to be at Minnesota. Michigan handled them pretty well in Ann Arbor and even though Minnesota is a much better team at home, it’s still a game where Michigan certainly should have a chance. Wisconsin hasn’t been invincible at home this year (losses to Texas, Purdue, and Minnesota) but it is still the Kohl Center.
Weekend Viewing Guide
The other bubble teams worth keeping an eye on in my mind are: Cincinnati, Florida, Kansas State, Kentucky, Maryland, Miami, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma State, Penn State, Providence, San Diego State, and Texas A&M. I’m sure there are a few I missed but that’s the core group to root against.
Here is a quick run through of who to root for this weekend. Clearly Michigan needs to handle their own business but a little help never hurts. Teams to root for are in bold. If I missed a game leave it in the comments and I’ll add it to the list.
- Georgetown at Villanova – Saturday, Noon ESPN
- Texas A&M at Iowa State – Saturday, 1:30 PM ESPN360
- Notre Dame at Connecticut – Saturday, 2PM CBS
- Arizona at Washington – Saturday, 3PM FSN
- Duke at Virginia Tech – Saturday, 3:30 PM, ABC
- LSU at Kentucky – Saturday, 4PM CBS
- Temple at Dayton – Saturday, 4PM
- Texas at Oklahoma State – Saturday, 6PM ESPN
- Indiana at Penn State – Saturday, 6PM BTN
- USC at Stanford – Saturday, 8PM
- SDSU at TCU – Saturday, 8:30 PM
- South Carolina at Vanderbilt – Saturday 8:30 PM
- UCLA at Cal – Saturday, 9PM ESPN
- Tennessee at Florida – Sunday 2PM, CBS
- Providence at Rutgers – Sunday, 2PM ESPNU
- Cincinnati at Syracuse – Sunday, 2PM ESPN360
- OSU at Purdue – Sunday, 4PM ESPN
- Maryland at NC State – Sunday, 7:30 PM
- Letâ€™s Look at sub-.500 Records in Conference Play
Not quite up to date and I’m not sure I agree with all the opinions but it’s interesting. USC, Texas A&M, Maryland, Cincinnati, Va Tech, Oklahoma State, Notre Dame, and Michigan are the 8 teams he lists, at this point I would take Michigan before a lot of them but maybe I’m too biased?
- On inconsistency (or the lack thereof)
KJ looks an consistency issues in the conference
- Fresh & Peedi Foil Boilers 87-78
Some nice pics from MVictors
- Manny Harris, DeShawn Sims keep promise of victory
“That’s the coach,” Harris said. “Can’t bump heads with the head coach, and like I said, I agreed with the decision.”
- U-M springs back to life
This post will be the place for any bracketology talk over the weekend, at least until I get the game preview up. There is almost too much to keep track of here so if you have any added insight I would gladly listen. This definitely should be a fun weekend of basketball and at the very least it feels good that all of these games matter.