Michigan is on a tear heading into March. Does that sound familiar?
After road wins against Penn State and Maryland, the Wolverines will carry a five-game win streak into the Big Ten Tournament later this week. Michigan is seeded fifth after losing out on the fourth seed and a coveted double bye because of a tiebreaker, which means the Wolverines will play their first game against either Illinois or Iowa.
If Michigan can get past that game and then a quarterfinals matchup against Nebraska and a potential rematch against Michigan State looms in the semifinals. If Michigan carries its hot play into New York this week, there are plenty of opportunities to make one final push up the S-curve by Selection Sunday.
- Record: 23-7
- RPI: 25 (up 3)
- SOS: 78
- SOR: 9
- Home: 15-1
- Away: 6-5
- Neutral: 2-1
- Quadrant 1: 4-5
- Quadrant 2: 4-1
- Quadrant 3: 5-1
- Quadrant 4: 10-0
Note: Division II games don’t count toward RPI record
- Joe Lunardi/ESPN: 6 seed vs. Providence (Dallas) — Feb. 26
- Jerry Palm/CBS: 6 seed vs. St. Bonaventure (Wichita) — Feb. 25
- SI.com: 7 seed vs. Creighton — Feb. 22
- Ryan Fagan/Sporting News: 6 seed — Feb. 22
- Crashing the Dance: 7 seed — Feb. 24
- Bracket Matrix: 6 seed — Feb. 25
- Joseph Cook/1-3-1 Sports: 5 seed vs. Loyola Chicago (San Diego)— Feb. 25
- Chris Dobbertean/SBNation: 5 seed — Feb. 23
- Michigan State (28-3, 14 RPI): The Spartans won the conference title with just one win over a NCAA Tournament team, losing two other games to Ohio State and Michigan in January. That might limit how high Michigan State can climb in the selection committee’s eyes. Wins over Michigan and either Ohio State or Purdue in the conference tournament would only bolster the Spartans’ résumé, though.
- Purdue (26-5, 9 RPI): Purdue’s projected seed has held strong over the past week. According to the Bracket Matrix, the Boilermakers’ average seed is still two, ahead of Michigan State. That might change if, say, Purdue loses to Ohio State in the semis of the BTT and Michigan State goes on to win it all.
- Ohio State (24-7, 18 RPI): There doesn’t appear to be too big of a difference between the Buckeyes and the Wolverines. Ohio State has a combined 9-6 record against Q1 and Q2 teams; Michigan’s is 8-6. If there’s any difference in seeding between the two teams, it’ll probably be marginal.
- Michigan (23-7, 25 RPI): The Wolverines are still an interesting case heading into March. There’s still plenty of dissent out there over how high Michigan might be seeded.
- Nebraska (22-9, 57 RPI): At this point, Nebraska needs a big run in the Big Ten Tournament to get on the right side of the bubble. Wins over Michigan and Michigan State might be imperative.
- Maryland (18-12, 65 RPI): Maryland lost every big game it had down the stretch. The Terrapins will have to win the conference tourney if they want to play in a tournament better than the NIT.
- Penn State (19-12, 84 RPI): The Nittany Lions fell with a thud to end the regular season, losing to Michigan at home before dropping one to Nebraska on the road on Sunday. Neither loss did any favors for Penn State, which is in the same boat as the previous two teams mentioned: solidly on the wrong side of the bubble.
Bracket Debate: What are Michigan’s ceiling and floor?
There isn’t any more consensus to where the Wolverines’ seed might fall than there was last week. The results of the Big Ten Tournament will have a sizeable impact on where Michigan ends up. On one side of a coin, an early flame-out to Illinois or Iowa could drop Michigan to a seven seed — even an eight.
Other teams outside the Big Ten will also have another week of games and more Q1 and Q2 opportunities on their schedule, which could mean that Big Ten resumes don’t look nearly as impressive on Selection Sunday.
On the other side of the coin, if the Wolverines fight their way past Michigan State in what would be a very highly-anticipated rematch, a five seed could be in play, while winning the conference tournament outright could even lead to a four seed.
So while Michigan is probably a six right now, there are plausible scenarios in which the Wolverines could move down two — or even up two. What do you think of Michigan’s ceiling and floor?