Normally, a game at the Kohl Center would be an opportunity for a résumé-boosting win. But Wisconsin isn’t good this year, so No. 22 Michigan’s 83-72 win over the Badgers on Sunday afternoon was merely a Quadrant 3 win. But while the win won’t earn the Wolverines many points in the eyes of the selection committee, it wasn’t a loss, which would’ve boded poorly for Michigan’s projected seeding.
Right now, the Wolverines appear to be pretty firmly entrenched around the 8 or 9 seed lines in most projections. Every projection on the Bracket Matrix has Michigan in the field, but they are in a spot where they’d have to play a No. 1 seed on Saturday or Sunday.
Now, Michigan will head back to Ann Arbor for a two-game homestand against Iowa and Ohio State, before finishing out the regular season at Penn State and Maryland. It is a stretch of games that could feature as many as three Quadrant 1 games — Maryland and Penn State project right on the edge of that top-75 cut off — and provide some key opportunities to bolster the resume.
- Record: 19-7
- RPI: 38
- SOS: 79
- Home: 13-1
- Away: 4-5
- Neutral: 2-1
- Quadrant 1: 2-5
- Quadrant 2: 2-2
- Quadrant 3: 6-0
- Quadrant 4: 9-0
Note: Division II games don’t count toward RPI record
- Joe Lunardi/ESPN: 6 seed vs. Virginia Tech — Feb. 12
- Jerry Palm/CBS: 8 seed vs. Butler — Feb. 11
- Andy Bottoms/Inside The Hall: 8 seed – Feb 13
- SI.com: 9 seed vs. Texas Christian — Feb. 12
- Crashing the Dance: 9 seed — Feb. 13
- Bracket Matrix: 9 seed — Feb. 12
- Joseph Cook/1-3-1 Sports: 9 seed — Feb. 12
- Chris Dobbertean/SBNation: 9 seed — Feb. 12
- Purdue (23-4, 11 RPI): The Boilermakers are — surprise — still projected for the highest seed out of the Big Ten, despite dropping their past two games to Ohio State and Michigan State. The losses didn’t sully Purdue in the eyes of the selection committee; it chose the Boilermakers as the fourth of the top-16 seeds released Sunday.
- Michigan State (24-3, 14 RPI): The Spartans got a huge win against Purdue, but according to Bracket Matrix, are trending down: whereas they were the highest-ranked 3 seed last week, they are now the third-highest ranked 3 seed (on average), with an average seed of 2.81. That is likely a residual effect of the NCAA Committee announcing the Spartans as a 3-seed on Sunday.
- Ohio State (22-5, 16 RPI): As predicted after their win over Purdue, the Buckeyes are now squarely in the conversation for a top-4 seed. They were listed No. 14 out of the top-16 seeds that the selection committee picked Sunday.
Should be in
- Michigan (19-7, 38 RPI): The Wolverines have one more chance at a Quadrant 1 win coming up with a home matchup against Ohio State this upcoming Sunday. Otherwise, Michigan will try to hold serve and avoid dropping multiple games to Iowa, Penn State and Maryland.
- Nebraska (19-8, 54 RPI): The Cornhuskers have their biggest remaining game of the regular season Tuesday night against Maryland. The status quo remains true: Nebraska’s schedule may be too light, and it may need a big win or two in the conference tournament.
- Maryland (16-10, 59 RPI): The Terrapins dropped a crucial game to Penn State last week. Mark Turgeon and company are in a difficult position; Maryland has a combined 1-10 record in games against Group 1 and Group 2 teams.
- Penn State (18-9, 85 RPI): The Nittany Lions will begin the most important stretch of their season: they’ve got three games in six days against Ohio State, Purdue and Michigan starting Feb. 15.
Bracket Debate: Where should Michigan State be seeded?
There were plenty of Spartan fans who complained about their team’s position in the selection committee’s top-16 that was released Sunday; Michigan State, which rose to No. 2 in the AP Poll on Monday, is No. 11.
In reality, the latter ranking may be the more accurate one; as pointed out by Jerry Palm, the Spartans have played the fewest Quadrant 1 games of any top 16 team, the fewest games against Quadrant 1 and Quadrant 2 teams combined — and they have just two wins over teams currently predicted to make the tournament in North Carolina and Purdue. The Spartans also don’t play any additional Quadrant 1 games over the final two weeks of the season.
Michigan State will end up with a lot of wins, but winning the Big Ten Tournament, and beating teams like Purdue and Ohio State on a neutral floor, might be paramount to moving up the S-curve down the stretch.