This Week's Obsession: Who Should Basketball Play?

This Week's Obsession: Who Should Basketball Play?

Submitted by Seth on November 11th, 2015 at 12:48 PM

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This was a good idea. Also omigod #23 is Carlton Brundidge; I totally forgot that. [Fuller]

The Question:

Nothing we can do about Michigan basketball's crappy nonconference schedule, but I asked the MGoCrew who they'd play in a home and home.

 
Opponent KP Rk %win
Elon 268 97%
Xavier 31 72%
Uconn 32 57%
Syracuse* 33 ~57%
Zaga, TX, A&M, Wash 8, 34, 39, 135 ~21%
at NCState 41 46%
Hou Baptist 308 98%
at SMU 23 38%
Delaware St 335 99%
N Kentucky 271 97%
YSU 287 97%
Bryant 240 96%
*Cuse plays Charlotte (261st) in the first round.

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Ace: Michigan's non-conference schedule outside of Xavier and the Battle for Atlantis tournament—admittedly some strong competition—is woefully bad. Xavier is the only non-conference home opponent ranked within the top 240(!) teams on KenPom. While you want to schedule some easy wins, that's taking the concept to an extreme while sacrificing both RPI standing and fan interest; games against Houston Baptist and Delaware State aren't exactly big draws.

I'd love to see the Wolverines rekindle a local series against a team that's still quite beatable but at least has a pulse: Oakland. The Grizzlies tend to be ranked in the 150 range on KenPom—they're 160th this preseason—and John Beilein went 4-0 against them from 2008-2012, playing those games either at Crisler or The Palace. They're seemingly the perfect level of opponent; they hung within 20 points of Michigan in each of those games but never came closer than ten points in the final score. Their coach, Greg Kampe, still very much wants to play the series. They're local. They play MSU on a near-annual basis. It makes almost too much sense from both a resumé and fan interest standpoint—I'd so much rather watch Michigan take on Oakland or Detroit than some bottom-feeder from outside the Midwest, and I'm sure I'm not alone there.

[After the JUMP: if you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.]