I know they have some marquee wins, but dang they are 6-10 in conference as of now and losers of 7 of their last 8. It's amazing how much impact preseason expectations have even after 25 games into the season. Minnesota has no shot. At best 8-10 in conference. Lost 7 of their last 8. And the committee will take note that they have lost Nolan with a broken foot for the rest of the year.
Your Monday Bubble Watch Rooting Guide
Not a huge slate of games today, but a couple of interest for Michigan fans. I'm using the Bracket Matrix for my list of bubble teams to watch, so keep in mind that it gets just a little bit out of date at times (only 28/47 brackets in their matrix have been updated since all of this weekend's games, and 18 haven't updated in more than a week. I promise you that Minnesota is nowhere near the field, much less solidly in like the Matrix says).
I'm considering 8 and 9 seeds "on the bubble" for now, since most of them have 2 more games plus a conference tournament to go. Going 0/3 would knock a lot of those teams out - unlikely though that may be for a lot of them. Most of those teams will be locks with their next win, so the situation is very fluid for the final week of the regular season.
Per the Bracket Matrix:
|Teams||Bubble In||Bubble Out|
|Big East||11||Marq (10)|
|SEC||6||Tenn (9), UGa (10), Bama (12)|
|Big Ten||6||Ill (10), MSU (10), Minn (11)||Mich, PSU|
|ACC||5||VT (12), BC (11), FSU (9)||Clem, Mary|
|Big 12||5||KSU (9)||Neb, Bay, Colo, OkSt|
|Pac-10||3||Wash (8), UCLA (8)||USC|
|Atlantic 10||3||Richmond (12)||Dayton, Duquesne|
|Mountain West||3||UNLV (8)||Colo St|
|West Coast||2||Zaga (12), St Mary's (11)|
|Colonial||2||Old Domin (8)||VCU|
|CUSA||2||Memphis (11), UAB (12)||USM, UTEP, Marsh, UCF|
|WAC||1||Utah State (9)|
|Missouri Valley||1||Missouri St (13)||Wichita St|
|Horizon||1||Butler (12)||Cleve St, Valpo, UW-Mil|
|Summit||1||1-bid Oakland (13)|
|Northeast||1||1-bid (LIU-Brooklyn)||Robert Morris|
|MAC||1||1-bid (Kent St)||Buff, Miami, WMU|
|Ivy||1||1-bid Harvard (13)||Princeton|
|Metro Atlantic||1||1-bid (Fairfield)||Rider, Iona|
|Mid-Eastern||1||1-bid (Beth-Cook)||Hampton, Morgan St|
As a general rule, you are cheering against all the teams listed (except, of course, Michigan). Some of your biggest cheers should go against:
- Marquette. With no Big East teams on the wrong side of the bubble, the Golden Eagles losing should knock the Big East down to a 10-bid(!) league.
- Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. Same story in the SEC. With no teams on the wrong side of the bubble, losses by these squads will reduce the number of bids for their league.
- Minnesota. They're probably already waaaay on the outside by this point, but one more loss should be the nail in the coffin.
- All the listed ACC teams except Clemson. The Tigers are a Michigan opponent (indeed, a Michigan road win), but the rest of those teams getting knocked out opens up some spots.
- All the listed Big 12 teams. This makes you a huge fans of the great (Kansas and Texas) and terrible (Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Iowa State) Big 12 teams. Double whammy for Kansas, as they're a past Michigan opponent.
- Washington, UCLA, and USC. If these three lose, the PAC-10 could be a 1- or 2-bid league.
- Richmond. The spiders losing will lose bids for the A-10. Dayton and Duquesne are probably done.
- UNLV and Colorado State. Though the Mountain West may end up with a pair of 2-seeds (BYU and SDSU), if UNLV and Colorado State don't finish strong, those could be the only bids.
- Gonzaga and St. Mary's. Next loss by either of these two could drop the West Coast Conference down to a 1-bid league.
- Old Dominion. Bring the Colonial down to a 1-bid league.
- All the Conference USA teams except for UTEP (a past Michigan opponent).
You are also a big fan of some teams:
- Harvard. A past Michigan opponent, you want them to win the Ivy league over Princeton. There's a decent chance the Crimson end the season in the RPI Top 50.
- Utah State. They're probably going to make the tournament no matter what, so you don't want the WAC Tournament to be won by anyone else.
- Butler. They're on the borderline, but almost in the same situation as USU. You want them to be the only Horizon League team in the tourney. Barring that, you want them knocked down a peg so they won't make the tournament unless they win the league.
- Michigan State. Just plug your nose and do it. You want them to be a top-50 team, so Michigan can get 2 wins over them.
And so, without further ado, your rooting guide for tonight's games.
- Villanova over Notre Dame (7:00PM, ESPN). Both teams are solidly in, but the Wildcats only played (bubble squad) Marquette once, whereas Notre Dame split 2 games with the Golden Eagles. Every little bit counts, and you're also weakening the top of the Big East a bit. Plus you get to cheer against Notre Dame.
- South Carolina Upstate over Florida Gulf Coast (7:30PM, live video, audio, and stats here). Michigan played USC-Upstate earlier this season. Strengthen that schedule, baby!
- NC Central over Bethune-Cookman (8:00PM, live audio here). NC Central is a past opponent as well.
- Texas over Kansas State (9:00PM, ESPN). This set of Wildcats is strongly on the bubble. Hopefully Texas can loosen their grasp on a bid.
- Cal State Bakersfield over Gonzaga (9:00PM, gametracker and audio here). As mentioned above, you want Gonzaga to lose their chance at an at-large bid.
There are a few games of interest tomorrow (about as many as today), so I'll update again in the morning. Wednesday should be a pretty huge day of movement on the bubble, so that night's slate of games should have a lot to watch.
As a side note, I'm no expert bracketologist, so if you think I have something wrong, let me know in the comments.
The matrix isn't completely updated if you look at it. The last update was this morning just after midnight, brackets will be updated today I would assume so you will likely see some things change including Minnesota being out.
Crashing The Dance still has them in and they are updated with yesterday's games.
Another team to really cheer for in the next week or two is Oakland. They have one conference game left and the Summit League tournament. They're hanging around on the outside of the RPI Top 50. If they can win out and get the autobid that's likely coming to them anyway then they could give us another "quality" win. Don't worry about them winning. They won't get an at-large.
Oakland's done playing. They've done al they can do (until their conference tournament).
So they are. My bad. This is what glancing at cbs sports to get info results in.
it will be key that during conference tourney's, especially the small and midsize conferences, that the favorites win. the last thing UM needs is an upset to get a middle tier MAC team in and the MAC team with 21 wins an at-large bid (as an example, i don't know if this is the fact or not).
Not factually correct but right idea. If you look at the conference listings, all of the leagues listed as 1-bid won't have an at-large team, despite what the Matrix might say. The only exception MIGHT be the Ivy League and I'd replace it with the WAC (If Utah State somehow doesn't win the WAC, they could very well be out).
But leagues like the Horizon, Missouri Valley, Conference USA, A-10, Pac-10, CAA, etc., could really hurt us if someone gets hot that shouldn't be in the tournament.
Even have to watch out with the big conferences, remember Mississippi state two years ago? They ran the table in the conference tourney and snubbed an automatic bid.
True, I'm just hoping that the disparity between the teams at the top and those at the bottom is enough to overcome that (except for us in the BTT of course).
The biggest concern for this is the SEC with anyone from the SEC West making a run. In a perfect world, the SEC semis are all teams from the East division and the entire West is left out of the tournament.
In a perfect world the SEC also wouldn't over sign. But I guess the SEC lives in their own world, so I know to expect anything from them.
All these projections assume the conference tourney's go as planned (or at the least the conference tourney winner is someone who would have made the ncaa's even if they didn't win the conference tourney).
I dont think cheering against ODU will be helpful
I think it's a lock that both George Mason and ODU make the field. Mason, for sure, IMHE. If ODU falls in the Colonial Quarters on Saturday to the 7th or 10th seed, then maybe they might have a sweat, but both seem to be in good shape.
Horizon, WCC, Missouri Vally and CUSA are all looking like one-bid leagues, which is great news. A couple weeks ago they all were multi-bid leagues.
I also think KSU is getting in. Spend more of your energy rooting against Baylor and Colorado in Big 12 land.
I am not going to spend any time rooting against or for anybody. I think if M wins Saturday they are in, If M loses Saturday they are out.
As always I reserve the right to be wrong, but it is clear to me that M is one of the top 64 teams in the country.
The field is 68 this year right? Serious question. Not sure when that kicks in.
There are now 4 play-in games and the 2 that were added are bubble/at-large matchups. Lunardi has UM in one of them, playing Baylor for a 12 seed.
Yes it is. To summarize the new format:
Four play-in games instead of one. All played in Dayton on the Tuesday. Two of the games are for the last four at-large teams with the winner getting an 11/12/13 seed etc. The other two are for the last four automatic qualifiers, with the winners getting the two worst 16 seeds.
Rooting against teams on the bubble is an exercise in futility. Some will win, some will lose. There are enough teams on the bubble that it only matters what we do. Win Saturday and we are probably in. Might need one win in the BTT to solidify it but we'll cross that road when we get there.
I think UCLA is in after their win over Zona. Washington was looking good but maybe not quite as much so after losing to Wash St and coincidentally they still have to play UCLA and USC (albeit at home). USC has a couple good wins (Texas and Zona) but have 3 or 4 bad losses. I'm thinking not both USC and Washington make it, but probably one.
certainly started out well with losses from alabama and baylor