If by rooting for MSU, you mean rooting for a meteor to crash into the roof of the stadium, then GOOOO SPARTY!
Big Ten Tournament Scenarios
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.
This comment combined with your avatar made for amazing chuckles
If you decide to root for the meteor crash scenario, root for Dantonio to be in the building when it happens.
I did similar research but didn't post it in that thread because it was too long of a reply and didn't think about diarizing it. Good summation.
But I think we should hope to be in the 4-5 game vs Illinois. I honsetly don't think beating Indiana/Iowa in the BTT does anything for our resume. I just don't think that 20 is a "magic number" that means you're in. And then after that, I think beating Wisconsin/Purdue/OSU is much less likely than beating Illinois. Yet beating Illinois would still be a solid top 50 RPI win.
I also think we should be rooting for Penn State to beat Minnesota (but lose to OSU) because they are right on the cusp of being in the top 50 (I think 53?) and that would give us two more Top 50 wins without doing anything. That's like money in the bank.
for MSU tomorrow. It comes down to the simple fact that I would rather have the chance for a quality win on friday, instead of having to play a game on thurday that could only hurt us for a chance to play an even tougher opponent on friday. Not to mention, I could see us beating Illinios on a neutral site. I don't see us beating Wisconsin or Purdue (they are playing lights out too). Simply put, I don't want to have to win four in a row to make it to the dance, I want to have to win three in a row.
FWIW Joey Brackets announced a new version of his updated bracket on the late SportsCenter and we are now one of the last 4 in.
Finishing as a top 5 team in the RPI #2 conference and beating Illinois would mean more than a token 20th win over a scrub. In my opinion the only thing playing Indiana or Iowa does is hurt us if we loose to them. A token 20th win over those guys wouldn't mean much to me if I was on the committee.
I personally will be rooting for a bye and the 4/5 game. A win in that game puts you right into the semifinals. Making the semifinals is what matters to the committee. They don't care if it takes you 1 win or 2 to get there from what I gather.
I also think that we are playing better than Illinois these days, and on a neutral floor, I would be disappointed if we lost to that team.
Win the BTT. We have come close to knocking off two of the three "lock" teams, A favorable bracket with a couple of proverbial good bounces, and who knows?
I would much rather play Illinois in the 4-5 game than play an Iowa or Indiana and theoretically play a Purdue or Wisconsin the next day. I feel that Illinois is a very beatable team and we have a great shot at beating them, plus a possible loss to Iowa or Indiana would be catastrophic. Low reward, but high risk. I'm probably too optimistic here, but if we get a bye, I think we could do some damage and make a run.
I'd rather play tOSU than Purdue on Saturday by virtue of an tOSU regular season loss vs Wiscy at home next Sunday, or at home vs Indiana today (unlikely). But we need tOSU to beat PSU on Tuesday to put control of the first round B1GT bye in our own hands.
Purdue would win the tie-breaker proceedings via the #2 rule by going 1-0 vs Wiscy while tOSU would be 0-2 (or 1-1 at best...please tOSU, don't lose to PSU).
as they lost in Madison before winning in Mackey, but the result is the same: if Purdue and OSU tie, the Boilers get the top seed based on a better record against whichever team beats OSU (as they split with the Badgers and swept Penn State).
But in that situation, Michigan would have to move out of the 4/5 spot, which could happen if the only change to the above scenario is Penn State beating OSU as well to finish 10-8. That would leave a three-way tie between UM, MSU, and Illinois. MSU would drop out based on their 1-3 record in the group compared to 2-1 for UM and UI, and Illinois would get the #5 based on their win over #3 Wisconsin.
And even then it would still be Wisconsin on Saturday rather than #2 OSU.
We're already on the last 4 out. The only reason that we weren't considered a "bubble" team last week was because we didn't have the wins yet. We (myself included) were bitching that we weren't considered yet while we were looking at the schedule and thinking that we would win. The analysts only look at what we've done not what we could do. I think being tied for fifth with one loss to who were tied with, if we beat MSU we'll be in unless sparty wins the tourney and/or beats purdue. The BIG should get at least six teams. The top 5 are set and with minny all but eliminated it's between us State.
My spring break starts on friday and i get to go to my first game this year. Crisler is going to be nuts on saturday. Let's go sixth man. Lets make those pussies cry.
I'll pull for an MSU win. But I'll be damned if I'm counting any chickens before that MSU game. I think it's safe to say MSU is playing much better now. And who among us doesn't have that seed of fear deep in our mind that MSU will snap on the rubber glove, dig deep up their collective ass and pull out the game in which they shoot 70% from the floor and commit almost no turnovers to dash U-M's hopes. Please forgive the paranoia.
#1, because I think a first round bye in the B1GT helps us more than the marginal impact of a Sparty win. That's forty minutes of leg energy that we save for the final three days. Plus, Indiana or Iowa isn't a gimme, especially Indiana in Indianapolis.
#2 because Sparty lost
with respect to the first round B1GT bye. (Or if they lose @Minny next Sunday, but we wouldn't know that until after the MSU game.)
a. In two team ties at 9-9, by the #1 tie-breaker Head-to-Head, we
beat MSU (2-0)
beat PSU (2-0)
lose to Illini (0-1)
b. In three-team tie breakers
Mich (4-0) > MSU (1-3) ? PSU (1-3)
Illini (2-1) > Mich (2-1) > MSU (1-3) (Illini win #2 tiebreaker w/ win over Wisc)
Illini (2-1) > Mich (2-1) > PSU (1-3) , ditto
c. In a four-team tie breaker
Mich (4-1) > Illini (3-2) > MSU (2-4) ? PSU (2-4)
Mar 2 vsIOWA 6:30 PM ET
Mar 5 @MICH 2:00 PM ET
Mar 1 @#8 PUR 7:00 PM ET
Mar 5 vsIND 12:00 PM ET
Mar 1 vs#3 OSU 9:00 PM ET
Mar 6 @MINN 1:00 PM ET
Unless Illinois drops both its remaining games, what they do won't have any impact on Michigan (accept possibly whether we wear home or away jerseys in our 2nd round B1GT opener).
I definitely want to be in the #4-#5 game. Yes, we could lose that game, but it might not be disaster like a loss to Iowa would be, while offering us a chance for a solid win (which again, Iowa would not offer). It would also greatly increase our chances of winning the whole BTT - teams that have to play on Thursday have an extra game's worth of exhaustion to deal with.