Tony Natoci is back this year to provide regular bracket updates as we lead up to the NCAA Tournament. Natoci publishes his own bracket at Heartbreak City and will outline where Michigan stands in current bracketology models, both in his own bracket and notable national brackets, along with updates and insights about the process, key bubble games to watch, and more.
Hello friends, and welcome to the beginning of the postseason. Michigan enters the Big Ten Tournament having already clinched a 1 seed in the big dance, but its exact position on the 1 line — 3rd or 4th — is still up in the air. I have the Wolverines 3rd right now, although if Michigan stumbles early in Indianapolis, the surging Illini may sneak past them if they make the championship game. It’s also possible that the committee moves the Wolverines down a spot if their injuries prove to be longer-term, but barring even more bad injury luck or a truly horrible performance on Friday, Michigan will remain a 1 seed.
Given the fact that there is functionally almost no difference between the 2nd and 3rd overall seeds (and the difference between the 2nd and 4th overall seeds isn’t much greater), Michigan’s exact rank at this point is probably not all that significant. Entering the NCAA Tournament healthy and drawing good matchups are the keys to a postseason run. As we’ll explore below, there are several teams likely to be under-seeded that Michigan will hope to avoid, and likewise, there should be a handful of over-seeded teams that would make for a more favorable path to the Final Four. Let’s dive in.