[Marc-Gregor Campredon (oui, les Campredons qui fait le bon vin)]
UPDATE 3/9: Just about nothing went right for our rooting interests last night except Duke easily dispatched the Domerless Domers. We're now 5-14 overall on our rooting guide, though to be fair we were picking against a lot of favorites. There's nothing to be done for Maryland and Penn State since everything that could conspire to move them down RPI has transpired—the Terps dropped 6 spots from yesterday without even playing—and everyone around them now has upward mobility. We're going to stop tracking that now since they’re both probably trapped below the 75th threshold, and just focus on various conference champions we don't want to pass Michigan.
Friday, March 9
- Cincinnati vs SMU (ESPN2). Why: Michigan’s competing for a protected seed and there are too many Midwest teams for too few Detroit slots. Cincy is a 2 in the bracket matrix but an early tourney loss could have an outsized effect given their weakish schedule (best non-conf win is @UCLA) and deny Wichita State a shot at a signature win later on.
- VCU vs Rhode Island (NBCS). Why: No, URI isn't catching us; this is because Michigan beat VCU earlier this year and an upset here would be nice for an RPI bump, while a run to the A10 title would sneak in another tourney win. It won't happen but it'd be fun.
- Bama vs Auburn (ESPN). Why: Auburn has a slightly stronger resume than Michigan’s right now. A loss to a mediocre Tide could push them below us and lock Michigan into a 3-see. However Auburn could also do us a favor if we get stuck behind them by winning the SEC and keeping Kentucky, Florida, or Tennessee from passing us. So if Auburn wins, just root for them the rest of the way.
- Southern Miss vs Marshall (CBSSN). Why: Former Michigan opponent stayin' alive.
- Kentucky vs Georgia (ESPN). Why: Kentucky is currently a five seed to Bracket Matrix but a run in the SEC Tourney could conceivably pass Michigan while boosting the resumes of Tennessee and Auburn. Florida is the last double-bye in the SEC tourney and are currently a six seed by the way. Georgia knocked out Mizzou, probably the best shot to blast the SEC threats out of the water, so now we're UGA fans I guess? Hard to root for that school.
- UVA vs Clemson (ESPN2). Why: Last chance to knock Clemson below Michigan--if they upset a 1 seed here that'll almost certainly push the Tigers ahead for good.
- Miss St vs Tennessee (SEC Network). Why: Any chance of Michigan moving up means passing one or two SEC teams, and Tennessee is currently one spot ahead of us in the bracket matrix and 10th in RPI.
- Temple vs Wichita State (ESPNU). Why: Wichita State can’t play in Wichita because they’re the hosts so we really don’t want them winning the AAC tournament and passing Michigan for a protected seed (they’re the second four-seed to Bracket Matrix). Better Cincy than Wichita.
- West Virginia vs Texas Tech (ESPN2). Why: Both are technically threats to Michigan but TTU is one spot below us on Bracket Matrix so a win here could push them permanently over Michigan while WVU has a ton of RPI to make up.
- UCLA vs Arizona (Pac 12 network). Why: Zona (last four-seed on BracketMatrix, 18th RPI) would probably need a championship to have a shot at passing Michigan but the best possible time for them to go out is versus a team Michigan beat.
The Rest of the Weekend
I'm just going to do this by conference now:
- ACC: Anyone but Clemson. UNC helps those around us as much as it does us, Michigan can't pass UVA, UNC, or Duke. Championship Game: 8:30 pm ESPN tomorrow night.
- Atlantic 10: VCU all the way! They play A10 1-seed Rhode Island in an hour or so in the quarterfinals so there's a way's to go.
- Big East: An upset by Butler or Providence doesn't move Nova or Xavier down far enough, and neither can catch Michigan but feel free to root for one-seed chaos anyway?
- Big XII: Would strongly prefer WVU knocks out Texas Tech then loses to whichever Kansas team (probably Kansas). In the championship root for whichever team has the most Kansas in their name. CG will air at 6:00 p.m. on ESPN.
- ConfUSA: Root for Southern Miss to maybe (not likely, they're not very good) give Michigan another victory over a tournament team. They play Marshall this afternoon and the winner of ODU/WKU tomorrow night at 7:30pm, CBSsports.
- Pac 12: Root for UCLA and against Arizona. A Pac12 banner shouldn't put the Wildcats over Michigan but never trust the selectors with a marquee name. Championship game is at 10pm on FS1.
- SEC: They're still in the quarterfinals so this is a bit more complicated. Root for all the upsets tonight in hopes of Michigan finishing above the entire SEC, but if they don't come off you want Auburn (8th RPI, first 3 seed to Bracket Matrix) to win it, followed by Florida (37th, first 6 seed), Kentucky (17th, last 5 seed), and last of all Tennessee (3rd 3 seed, 10th RPI). Worst case scenario is Tennessee over Auburn in the finals, since that'll put both of them over Michigan. Florida over Auburn in the finals would get iffy. Semifinals will be at 1pm and 3pm tomorrow on ESPN, and the championship will be at noon on ESPN on Sunday.
- Atlantic 10, ConfUSA, MEAC, MtnWest, Southland, Sun Belt: Don't curr.
[After THE JUMP: results from Wednesday and Thursday]