Playing Out Michigan's Possible NCAA Tourney Seeding with Bart Torvik

Submitted by UMFanatic96 on March 6th, 2019 at 12:09 PM

Bart Torvik is a great free site to use for college basketball statistics and projections. I decided to play out all the different scenarios on how Michigan basketball can finish the season to see what seeds are in place. 

For the sake of this simulation, each scenario assumes Purdue beats Northwestern and the higher seed wins all other B1G Tourney games. This means the B1G Tourney opponents range from Ohio St, Wisconsin, MSU, Iowa, and Purdue.


Scenario 1: Beat MSU, Win B1G Tourney

30-4 Record, 12-4 vs. Quad 1.

Wins over Ohio State, Wisconsin, and MSU in the B1G Tourney.

Result = 1 Seed (#4 overall)


Scenario 2: Beat MSU, Lose in B1G Tourney Finals

29-5 Record, 11-5 vs. Quad 1.

Wins over Ohio State, Wisconsin, lose to MSU in finals.

Result = 2 Seed (#6 overall)


Scenario 3: Beat MSU, Lose in B1G Tourney Semi-Finals

28-5 Record, 10-5 vs. Quad 1.

Win over OSU, lose to Wisconsin in semi-finals.

Result = 2 Seed (#7 overall)


Scenario 4: Beat MSU, Lose in first B1G Tourney Game

27-5 Record, 9-5 vs. Quad 1.

Lose to OSU in first B1G Tourney game

Result = 2 Seed (#8 overall)


Scenario 5: Lose to MSU, Win B1G Tourney

29-5 Record, 11-5 vs. Quad 1.

Beat Iowa, Purdue, and MSU in B1G Tourney

Result = 2 Seed (#6 overall)


Scenario 6: Lose to MSU, Lose in B1G Tourney Finals

28-6 Record, 10-6 vs. Quad 1.

Beat Iowa and Purdue, lose to MSU in B1G Tourney finals

Result = 2 Seed (#8 overall)


Scenario 7: Lose to MSU, Lose in B1G Tourney Semi-Finals

27-6 Overall, 9-6 vs. Quad 1.

Beat Iowa, lose to Purdue in B1G Tourney semi-finals

Result = 2 Seed (#8 overall)


Scenario 8: Lose to MSU, Lose in first B1G Tourney Game

26-6 Overall, 8-6 vs. Quad 1.

Lose to Iowa in first B1G Tourney Game

Result = 2 Seed (#8 overall)



Main Takeaways:

  • None of the scenarios result in anything lower than a 2 seed for Michigan. Albeit scenarios 7 and 8 are not ideal and could still easily result in Michigan getting a 3 seed depending on other games. 


  • A 1 seed is still very much in play if Michigan wins out heading into the tournament. 


  • Michigan is definitely most likely to be a 2 seed, but the different scenarios do provide different ranges of 2 seeds. We would definitely like to stay away from being the last or second to last 2 seed to avoid Duke or Virginia in our region.


  • Winning or even getting to the B1G Tourney finals would likely get Michigan as either the top or second 2 seed.


Let me know your thoughts below. Obviously, this isn't perfect and there limitations, but it is nice to have a general idea of what we can expect.




Ali G Bomaye

March 6th, 2019 at 12:25 PM ^

I think that one of the really important aspects of our seeding that isn't mentioned above is location. Right now most projections have both us and MSU as 2-seeds in the West and East, respectively, playing the first weekend in Des Moines, which isn't bad. However, the regional finals for those brackets are in Washington D.C. (Duke/UVA territory) and Anaheim (a long ways away), neither of which are ideal.

But it's possible that if we won out, we could be the #1 seed in the Midwest, which would put our first weekend in Columbus and the regional finals in Kansas City. That would be a great outcome.

Kilgore Trout

March 6th, 2019 at 12:39 PM ^

It's important to note that the first week sites are not tied to individual regionals but are paired with the highest rated team playing there. So it's conceivable to be in the West but still play in Columbus on the first weekend. 

Basically, Michigan, Michigan State, Tennessee, and Kentucky all have Columbus as their closest first weekend site. So you need to be in the top two of this group of four to be placed in Columbus. 


March 6th, 2019 at 1:39 PM ^

Virginia could also get placed in Columbus, as Charlottesville is slightly closer to Columbus than it is to Columbia, SC.  I think they should go to Columbia, since more of the state is closer to SC than to Columbus, but it could go either way.  If Virginia does go to Columbus, I think the only way the B1G winner gets Columbus is if both Kentucky and Tennessee lose in the SEC tournament, and Michigan or MSU wins out.  Also, putting Virginia and Kentucky in Columbus would mean that the top 3 ACC schools all get the closest site to them, while none of the B1G schools would.  

I know it won't happen, but if Columbus is full I'd like to see Michigan go to Hartford.  I think we'd draw way better there, and I bet the atmosphere would be a lot livelier, as there are lots of college basketball fans of all stripes within a couple hours drive.  Last year, the completely dead feel of Wichita seemed like it affected our performance, and both games were slogs.  



March 7th, 2019 at 3:43 PM ^

Anaheim is actually a good draw.  Tons of alumni out here in Southern California, no relevant good local teams.  There was a huge M presence in LA last time they were here, and we would likely have the home court advantage again.


Also, selfishly, I could drive up to an Anaheim game and I want that.  

Perkis-Size Me

March 9th, 2019 at 7:49 AM ^

Honestly unless you were playing in Detroit, NYC or Chicago, I don’t think you could ask for many better places to go than Anaheim. Thousands of west coast alums would flood in for that game, just as they did to LA last year. You don’t have many big time relevant teams out there who’s fan bases would travel in big numbers. Gonzaga fans would be there for sure, but I’d say the fan population would be no worse than 50/50 if they played Michigan. Other than that, Michigan would outnumber most any fanbase that comes that way.


March 6th, 2019 at 12:34 PM ^

Like you stated, there are limitations, but I would even be fine with a high #3 seed.  The match-ups and the region is what it's all about.  Those sweet 16 games always have the chance to have a 1 vs. 4 or a 2 vs. 3 pairing and sometimes you might be better off facing a certain #2 or #3 seed than facing a #4.

Also, wouldn't that be something if we played into a #1 seed and were rewarded by playing in Columbus for the opening round!!  Or would you rather be a #2 and play in Des Moines??  Lots to think about...


March 6th, 2019 at 11:10 PM ^

Give me Virginia although it would be a tough game as they’re a good team.

Let’s hope Matthews is healing up but nice to see the guys playing well a little short handed.

Watching From Afar

March 7th, 2019 at 10:40 AM ^

Virginia gets a bad rep because of UMBC and their recent early departures from the tournament, but I wouldn't want to run into a top 3 defensive team with this version of Michigan. Points would be hard to come by and Virginia's offense isn't nearly as middling as it has been in the past. They're #2 in Kenpom on offense instead of the 30-50 range they were in those early exits. The last time they were this highly ranked on offense was 2016 when they made the elite 8.

Of the possible #1s, Duke (with Zion) is an athletic nightmare and Virginia would probably keep Michigan in the 50s. The rest of the top contenders in the field would be preferable to run into because Gonzaga has holes, Tennessee isn't great, Kentucky is a Calipari team (no coaching, just athletes), and TT is basically those early exit Virginia teams (very good defense, meh offense).

Reggie Dunlop

March 7th, 2019 at 10:24 AM ^

I appreciate the effort. Pretty much confirms the assumption in my head - we're a 2 seed unless we run the table. I'm perfectly fine with that. Now go win the conference.


March 7th, 2019 at 4:07 PM ^

I'm not certain we'd still be a 2 if we lost the next two (MSU + BTT opener).  Given that Beilein is 11-0 in BTT openers, I'm not overly concerned about that, though.


March 7th, 2019 at 10:49 PM ^

Know what? Give me Duke. Not convinced Zion will ever play another college basketball game, and there are a lot of bad memories associated with that program. I'd like to see a measure of payback. 

Sure, all things being the same I'd prefer Gonzaga's region, but I don't have a fear of Duke (as long as I'm right about Zion.)



March 8th, 2019 at 10:29 AM ^

The BTT Final will end about 30 minutes before the selection show starts.  Maybe they have two brackets ready to go, but I tend to think the bracket will be set regardless of the final result.  The AAC final (Houston, Cincy, UCF) is also on at about the same time.  That could potentially necessitate 4 separate brackets.  I think they're too lazy to do that.


March 8th, 2019 at 12:47 PM ^

This is just a nitpick stemming from your initial assumptions:  If Purdue wins its final game vs Northwestern, won't it be guaranteed the #2 seed in the BTT?  So if you are assuming all the other higher seeds advance in the BTT, Michigan would be playing Purdue in the finals under scenarios 1 & 2, not MSU.

But an interesting thought piece nevertheless.