I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
I didn't think we'd win ten games this season, but it appears that Coach Beilein's trip to Europe really helped out. Sure, we didn't win many games during the trip. Yes, Hardaway Jr. blowing up definately helped us out. Does anyone else think that getting those games in at the start of the season gave us an extra experience edge? I think they gave players like Morgan and Hardaway some confidence and got them ready for the season, but I'm no expert.
After winning today against Minnesota we hold on to our NCAA Tournament hopes (despite what ESPN might think). As we’ve known for a while, beating MSU is a must for this discussion to matter. If that happens, we need to win 1-2 games in the conference tournament to get into serious tournament conversations.
There’s already a thread about whether we could get in with just one win in the BTT, but that thread is lacking a critical piece of information – WHO would we play? I started to investigate this and it revealed a very interesting scenario.
Right now we know who the top three teams are (OSU, Purdue, Wisconsin). We also know who the bottom four teams are (Minnesota, Northwestern, Iowa, Indiana). At this point those seven spots aren’t really likely to change barring some upsets in the final week. But the middle four spots are totally up for grabs among Michigan, MSU, Illinois, and Penn State.
Here’s the remaining schedules and a prediction to go with them for the four bubble teams:
Michigan State (16-11, 8-7)
- Purdue (Loss)
- Iowa (Win)
- @ Michigan (Loss)
- FINAL RECORD = 17-13, 9-9
Penn State (15-12, 8-8)
- OSU (Loss)
- @ Minnesota (Win)
- FINAL RECORD = 16-13, 9-9
Illinois (18-11, 8-8)
- @ Purdue (Loss)
- Indiana (Win)
- FINAL RECORD = 19-12, 9-9
Michigan (18-12, 8-9)
- MSU (Win)
- FINAL RECORD = 19-12, 9-9
Those results, with all favored teams winning, conclude in a 4-way tie for fourth place. Now let’s examine what this would mean for the tournament seeding, since the top five teams get a bye.
According to the tournament’s website, in the event of a multi-team tie you have to look at the teams’ records against the other teams that are tied. So let’s look at that list again, with the head-to-head record of the four teams:
- MSU: 2-4
- PSU: 2-4
- Illinois: 3-2
- Michigan: 4-1
This would mean that Michigan and Illinois would get the byes while MSU and PSU would have to play on the first day. This is a good thing and a bad thing. On the one hand it gives Michigan a better chance to make a run with one fewer game to play. It also gives Michigan the chance to play a better team in their first game to improve their resume, in this case Illinois.
On the other hand, Michigan doesn’t get to play one of the bottom feeders in the opening round to get their 20thwin. In some ways I think I would prefer to end up in the #6-7 spot to get another game against Iowa or Indiana. I’m curious what everyone thinks about this.
In the end what matters is beating MSU and winning at least the first game in the tournament, likely against Illinois. In the scenario described here that would put us in the semi-finals with 20 wins, a 9-9 fourth place conference finish, a 5-1 record against the other conference bubble teams, and a top-ten strength of schedule. Even with just that one BTT win it would be pretty hard to keep us out of the tournament with that resume.
Go Blue – Beat MSU!
I'm not an expert on bracketology, but I think we should be rooting against Illinois and Penn State in every game while we actually (*gulp*) root for MSU to win both of their other games. They would end up ahead of us in the standings, but we'd get a bigger resume boost for beating them.
I was watching ESPN College Gameday and they were doing highlights and tournament resumes for a lot of teams that played today. They talked about Alabama (who they thought would get in despite a mediocre resume) and Nebraska (who they think is out). Then they did the highlights of our game with Minnesota.
After the game I expected them to talk about our resume....nope, just Minnesota. They showed Minny's resume and then said "not without a huge BTT run". They didn't say ONE THING about Michigan. Not ONE. How is that possible? Nebraska is the 8th place team in a crappy B12 and they get their resume discussed?
There are a dozen reasons why Michigan will probably end up in the NIT, but somewhere on that list is that none of the talking heads are even paying attention to us or getting our name into the mainstream discussion.
Who would that win in the BTT need to be over?
Our resume would be admittedly mixed - .500 in Big ten, 20 wins, 2 or 3 top 50 wins, no top 25 wins (lots of very close losses) - but we are talking about doing just enough to get in among 68 teams, not arguing for a 10 seed.
Is there a chance if this scenario plays out?
(Yes, I know the answer is "just take care of business in the BTT", but if it doesn't work out can we still get in with just a win over Sparty and one BTT win?)
BTW, I think we are in if we win our second BTT game, even if we lose to Sparty, because of who we will have to beat to win.
John Beilein wrote 3 words on the board for this game..."The team, The team. The team" that deserves an ataboy
Michigan has made it to their final game of the season and their At Large Bid chances are blossoming. A team picked LAST by most pundits can finish as high as 4rth with a week to go. They have the best young backcourt in the league. And they're adding more talent next year to it.
It's going to be a long and fun weeklong buildup to the final game against Sparty. It will also be a fun week of scoreboard watching as we cheer against fellow bubble teams. Most will have to play this week, while Michigan rests and prepares for their finale.
In John Belein I Trust . It's March, It's his time. Go Blue. Beat Sparty. And Jinx To All You Other Bubble Teams.
But, most importantly, it's Saturday night, our hoops team kicks ass, so LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL. I expect this thread to be rolling strong when I get back home tonight. Unless Mr. Cook Muppets us, then I expect the party to be there........GO BLUE!!!