I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
Lunardi's Espn S-curve currently has us sitting at #78 which puts us 10 out for the tournie. Minnesota's loss last night put them at #71 (3rd out). It is behind the espn paywall but I will post the story here.
Take our "solid" at-large candidates (current Tournament Odds at 75 percent or better) and you have exactly 38 teams in the field. Add in the remaining automatic qualifiers and that's another 20 spots. All told we have 58 of the 68 spots accounted for, with only 10 up for grabs among current "Bubble" teams.
"BUBBLE" (21 teams for 10 spots)
IN (10, in S-Curve order): 39-Michigan St, 40-Alabama, 41-Georgia, 42-Marquette, 43-Virginia Tech, 45-Butler, 46-Boston College, 47-Gonzaga, 48-Colorado State, 49-Richmond
OUT (11, in S-Curve order): 69-UAB, 70-Baylor, 71-Minnesota, 72-VCU, 73-Wichita State, 74-Nebraska, 75-Clemson, 76-Maryland, 77-Southern Miss, 78-Michigan, 79-Penn State
Big East (11), Big 12 (6), SEC (6), ACC (5), Big Ten (5), Mountain West (4), Atlantic 10 (3), Pac-10 (3), Colonial (2), Horizon League (2).
Link for those with insider access:
I went ahead to the morning of March 5th and returned with this nugget for you all:
March 5th, Ann Arbor, MI –
There is no such thing as a play-in game in conference basketball, though there is a first time for everything. As Michigan prepares to host MSU tonight at Crisler arena, both teams know what’s at stake and both will be playing, essentially, for their tournament lives.
The Michigan wolverines, sitting at 19-11, 9-8 conference, have really taken control of their season, winning six of their last seven, dropping only a home game against conference No. 2, Wisconsin. They have put themselves squarely on the bubble for the NCAA tournament.
The MSU Spartans, meanwhile, have also found a bit of themselves over the past few weeks, finishing the homestretch 4-2, leaving them at 17-12, also with a 9-8 conference record, but with a tougher NC schedule and a better national perspective. This also places them squarely on the NCAA bubble.
Now, the problem. The Big Ten has OSU, Wisconsin, Purdue, Minnesota and Illinois ticketed for the dance already. The conference almost certainly will not get seven berths. And so, with also-rans Northwestern and Penn State on the outside looking in, the picture becomes clear. One of these teams, but not both, is going dancing. Tonight for our viewing pleasure, right here in Ann Arbor, these young men are going to play their guts out to find out which one.
- The Season So Far:
Michigan: For a team that was supposed to be too young to accomplish much, early season non-conference success brought whispers of an NCAA Tourney bid in the making. Then, close losses to No. 2 Kansas and No. 1 OSU in back-to-back games seemed to take it out of the wolverines, and they followed up with clunkers and aimless fluttering through several ugly Big Ten losses. It was not until this young team rallied to beat MSU at the Breslin center, something that had not happened in better than a decade, that they really began to figure out what they were.
Led by veterans Zack Novak and Darius Morris and supported by a talented freshman class including Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jordan Morgan, this team has found a method and a special type of leadership to rise above their youth. Expect a lot of threes from Novak if he can get open, some solid passing from Morris, and some interesting sets devised by head coach John Beilein.
MSU: Michigan State basketball is a program all but synonymous with top flight talent and perpetuated success. Though not lacking in the first, the second has been hard to come by this season. Early season losses were brushed aside as MSU faced some of the best teams in the nation. However, entering conference play, things got no easier for the Spartans. A lack of chemistry has left head coach Tom Izzo scratching his head, and meant the dismissal of one Korie Lucious and a bevy of tough losses.
Still, all that talent has come through when dearly needed, and has given MSU a chance to continue their impressive tournament streak. With no clear leader, it’s hard to know what to expect from the Spartans on any given night, but it’s likely that Tom Izzo will have some clever schemes to continue the minor winning streak that has rescued MSU from utter failure to the least chance of earning a berth.
One of these teams will make the tournament. For the other, it’ll be Big Ten tourney champions or bust. There is enough talent and skill to send the game either way. All that’s left is to play one of the most important games ever in this series. In Ann Arbor, you can cut the tension with a knife.
You know how I know? Because Brady Hoke is rubbing off on John Beilein:
"We've played so many of those good teams so far, that I don't know if (it matters if) you're playing a 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5," U-M coach John Beilein said. "It depends on the kids. I know I don't look at it any differently. I know they're a tremendous team. The rankings are the perception of their team. They certainly are worthy of a No. 1 ranking."
GO BLUE! BEAT OSU!
Go Blue, beat IU!
- Michigan attempts to end its three game losing streak
- Novak and Douglass return to their home state
• Radio: Michigan Sports Marketing (IMG)
• Detroit: WWJ (950 AM) | Ann Arbor: WWWW (102.9 FM) | WOMC 104.3 FM
• Internet: MGoBlue.com | Sirius: 90 (U-M broadcast) | XM: 143 (IU broadcast)
• U-M Radio: Matt Shepard (p-by-p) & David Merritt (analyst)
• Television Broadcast: Big Ten Network | Eric Collins (p-by-p) & Quinn Buckner (analyst)
After beginning the season 9-2, Tom Crean’s Indiana squad has since hit a slide, dropping its last six contests. After two tough losses at the Las Vegas Classic to Northern Iowa (67-61) and Colorado (78-69), the Hoosiers have lost each of their fi rst four Big Ten contests to Penn State (69-60), Ohio State (85-67), Minnesota (67-63) and Northwestern (93-81). Indiana holds a 9-8 overall record (0-4 Big Ten).
Under John Beilein, the Wolverines are 2-2 against the Hoosiers, with the teams splitting their matchups last season. In 2009-10, Michigan fell at Assembly Hall in their Big Ten opener, 71-65 (Dec. 31), but came away victorious in Ann Arbor, 69-45 (Jan. 14). This season, the Hoosiers are led by sophomore Christian Watford, who leads Indiana with 16.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
- Michigan will play three of its next four games, and expanding further fi ve of its next seven, on the road, starting with a game at Indiana (Jan. 15). Michigan had played 10 of its last 11 games in Crisler Arena, going 7-3 at home in that stretch.
- Three of Michigan's six losses this season have come against three of top-fi ve ranked programs in the nation. U-M lost by just three to No. 4 Syracuse (53-50), lost by seven in overtime to No. 3 Kansas (67-60) and by just four to No. 2 Ohio State (68-64).
- In conference play, Michigan is shooting a league-best 89.2 percent (33-of-37) from the free throw line in Big Ten games and is 47-of-54 (87 percent) over the last five games.
- Overall, Michigan is second in the Big Ten in free-throw percentage (73.1 percent) and has two players in the top-10 in the conference in free-throw percentage. Tim Hardaway Jr. is eighth in the conference (81.5 percent) while Darius Morris ranks 10th in the league (76.8 percent).
- U-M coach John Beilein needs to coach 15 more games to reach 1,000 total contests in his 33-year career. At the current pace, the 1,000th game will be the Wolverines' opening game at the 2011 Big Ten Tournament.
- With 131 three-point fi eld goals, Stu Douglass is eighth all-time at U-M. Douglass needs four to move into seventh (Glen Rice, 135).
Darius Morris was named B1G Player of The Week and Tim Hardaway, Jr was named co-B1G Freshman of the Week.
Michigan's Darius Morris earns the first Player of the Week honor of his career after recording his fourth points and assists double-double of the season with 26 points and 12 assists in the Wolverines' 87-71 victory against Bryant.
Michigan's Tim Hardaway Jr. earns the Wolverines' first Freshman of the Week award after recording a career-best 20 points in the Wolverines' 87-71 victory against Bryant.
Morris is the first Michigan Conference POTW since DeShawn Sims was honored on Jan 11, 2010. Hardaway is the first ever Michigan player named Conference Freshman of the Week.
Meanwhile, MGoBlue.com has a nice feature on Michigan MBB Asst Coach, Bacari Alexander. Love the impact he's had on the program and love his enthusiasm. Michigan will be fortunate if he stays in Ann Arbor for more than two seasons.
Just posted at UMHoops.com, but since many of you don't visit that site, check out this virtual tour of the Basketball Player Development Center. Yes, the PDC will be quite the boon to the MBB and WBB programs.
The facility... will provide approximately 57,000 gross square feet, including two basketball practice courts, team locker rooms for players and coaches, athletic medicine and hydrotherapy.
The second floor will accommodate men's and women's coaching staff and administrative support functions, as well as film-viewing rooms and strength and conditioning space.
The proposed design calls for a new entrance to Crisler Arena for players and coaches at the playing floor level and a new, dramatic Hall of Fame in the entry lobby.