Following last night's tough loss, Crisler will again be the scene of an important game tonight as the women's basketball team hosts Minnesota at 7:00. This is Senior Night, and Veronica Hicks is the lone honoree. Tickets are only $3, parking at Crisler is free, and it's another Fan Appreciation Night, so please consider coming out to support the team tonight if you're in the area.
Compared to the men's team, the women's team has a much clearer path to the NCAA tournament. Right now, they're in great shape, thanks to their victory over Wisconsin on Sunday, which put them in position to secure the #3 seed in the Big Ten Tournament. If they can beat Minnesota tonight and Illinois on the road on Sunday, they'll finish no worse than tied for third with Wisconsin with a conference mark of 11-5. Michigan holds the tiebreaker over Wisconsin, having swept the Badgers this year. An overall record of 18-10, a third-place finish in the Big Ten, a record of 8-8 vs. the top 50 teams (per Jeff Sagarin's ratings), and a strength of schedule right around 10th in the country seems like enough to secure a bid regardless of what happens in the BTT.
Following the Wisconsin victory, Charlie Creme (ESPN's women's basketball bracketologist) moved Michigan up from a #9 seed to #6. That seems a bit high to me given Michigan's current RPI in the 31 to 40 range, but at least he now has them seeded higher than Ohio State (#7 seed), which lost twice to Michigan.
Other coverage of the team:
- Michigan Daily article on the matchup with Minnesota (which it should be noted beat Michigan earlier in the season 60-50 in Minneapolis) and Hicks's Senior Night
- Free Press article, which provides Kevin Borseth's view that Michigan needs more wins to secure an NCAA berth because he believes the selection committee values wins over RPI and strength of schedule
- Annarbor.com feature on Courtney Boylan, who secured the Wisconsin victory by making three clutch baskets in the final 81 seconds