Team 103

Bracket Watch: Selection Sunday

Here’s the latest on Michigan’s NCAA Tournament seeding possibilities.

Michigan will play Michigan State for a championship this afternoon but attention will turn to the NCAA Tournament Selection Show minutes after the final horn. There’s hardware on the line in Chicago, but the games next week are even more important.

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Where will Michigan be seeded and where will it play? Here’s a look at the latest bracketology projections across the internet.


Bracketology Rundown

Michigan is close to a consensus 2-seed in most bracket projections, but there are still a few 3-seed projections out there. Most brackets that have Michigan pegged as a 3-seed have Houston as the final 2 seed. The Wolverines average seed rank is a 2.15 across the Bracket Matrix, which puts them at No. 8 overall on the consensus seeding curve.

Most projections still have Michigan headed to play first-round games in Des Moines, but there’s a degree of randomness to location selection that is tough to project.

Here’s where Michigan stands in notable bracket projections:

 Ask the Expert

Joseph Cook-Shugart of 1-3-1 Sports had the best bracket projection in 2018 and is ranked among the best bracketologists on the internet. He’s agreed to answer a few questions in each Bracket Watch as we get closer to Selection Sunday. 

1. Is Michigan locked into a 2-seed regardless of Sunday’s result?

There is a remote chance (<5% chance) that Michigan could move up to a 1 seed if all the stars align, but as a fan, I wouldn’t hold your breath. Michigan is pretty much locked in to a 2-seed at this point. However, the game is not without relevance. Michigan State is likely also on the 2-seed line, the result of tomorrow’s game may very well shift what location and 1-seed Michigan draws in their regional.

2. Why isn’t Michigan State receiving more consideration for a 1-seed given its quality wins?

I don’t think it’s a knock on Michigan State so much as it’s a credit to the quality of top-tier teams this year. The resume’s of the top 8 teams are all quite good. I think getting swept by Indiana and losing at Illinois (3 losses to non-tournament caliber teams) is something that really hurts the Spartans. I think Michigan State will be in the discussion for a 1-seed if they beat Michigan tomorrow, but I still think they likely end up on the 2-seed line.

The late start of the Big Ten Tournament final also doesn’t benefit the participants. The committee seems to like having all their ducks in a row well in advance, and shifting a team in the bracket and adhering to the rules and procedures less than an hour before the selection show is a time crunch. They claim that they have contingency bracketing in place pending results, but I’m skeptical as to the magnitude of changes they’re willing to make late in the process.

3. What is your prediction for biggest Selection Sunday surprise?

I’m about to set the record for the biggest cop-out answer you have ever received. The biggest Selection Sunday surprise is going to be that there won’t be any major surprises. I think with the committee’s reliance on NET and the tournament selection and seeding procedures becoming more transparent in recent years, we’re going to see less and less in terms of surprises.

Notable Replies

  1. Mith

    I’m proud to say that Joe is a former high school student of mine and so this gives me the ability to give him a hard time. So you’re right, Joe, that is a copout! I definitely think there will be a surprise or two. I’m hoping it’s in the direction of the mid-majors, but with the bid-thieving going on I’m afraid that has damaged Belmont and the So-Con team’s chances. Still, there will be some surprises, I hope!

    I agree completely with what he says about the committee getting the bracket lined up regardless of the late championship game results. The easiest scenario is to drop us and MSU into the 2’s regardless of the winner of today’s game.

  2. buckets12

    Gonna be reallllly interesting to see who the committee pairs with Duke out of Michigan State, Michigan and Kentucky

  3. goblue8

    From what I’ve gathered the committee and media refuses to view us in the 1 seed talk with MSU, unc, Tennessee, Gonzaga, Kentucky because we didn’t obliterate the terrible teams on our schedule and didnt have high pre season ranking(created a eye test perception that um isn’t as good as those teams). FWIW Torvik actually ranks us number 1 against quad 1 and quad 2 teams. Since a 1 seed isn’t going happen, I just hope we get the 2 out west.

  4. chazer

    Yes, the SEC and ACC get all the hype from ESPN and CBS, Which leaves the other conferences scrambling for position. I do not like the B1G Championship game on Sunday…but they must be the marketing experts. This is always about marketing dollars to the masses IMO!

  5. Actualelguapo

    Haven’t ever really understood why UNC is considered to be a relatively uncontroversial 1 seed. I don’t see much to separate them from MSU or UM, unless you want to give them full credit for beating Zionless Duke twice.

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