Your Wednesday Bubble Watch Rooting Guide

Submitted by Tim on March 2nd, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Now part of a recurring series. Check out jamiemac's Diary on the Bracket Matrix for more breakdowns as they specifically relate to Michigan.

Tales from Last Night

Last night went much better for Michigan than did Monday. The relevant results for the Wolverines:

  • Purdue beat Illinois 75-67. As a fellow bubble team, we wanted Illinois to lose.
  • Oklahoma State beat Baylor 71-60. Since both are bubble teams, either one losing was nice. You still want both to lose their next game.
  • Florida beat Alabama 78-51. Alabama was a fellow bubble team, but this huge loss might damage their resume beyond repair, unless they have a huge run in the SEC tournament.
  • Gardner-Webb lost to Coastal Carolina 72-83. We wanted Gardner-Webb- a past Michigan opponent - to win, but this result was expected, so it's no killer.
  • Bowling Green lost to Kent State 57-63. See above.
  • Missouri lost to Nebraska, 58-69. We wanted Missouri to knock Nebraska off the bubble for good.
  • Ohio State crushed Penn State 82-61. There was a lot of debate in the comments of yesterday's post over who we actually wanted to win, and reached a vague consensus that Ohio State was probably more favorable for Michigan. Yayz.
  • Virginia Tech lost to Boston College 61-76. We wanted VT to knock Boston College off the bubble, but they may have played their own way out of the tournament by getting bludgeoned at home with a bid on the line.

None of these were killers, to say the least, but Kansas State is solidly in the tournament at this point.

The Bubble

The Matrix was updated juuust before last night's games, so the above results aren't taken into account. I'll note them in the "Change" column.

Per the Bracket Matrix:

  Bids Bubble In Bubble Out Change
Big East 11 Marq (10)    
SEC 6 Tenn (9), UGa (10), Bama (12)   Bama lost to Florida by 700 points.
Big Ten 6 Ill (10), MSU (11), Mich (12) Minn, PSU Illinois lost to Purdue, Penn State was crushed by OSU.
ACC 5 BC (12), VT (10), FSU (9) Clem, Mary BC pasted VT.
Big 12 5 KSU (8) Neb, Bay, Colo, OkSt OK State beat Baylor, Nebraska beat Mizzou.
Pac-10 3 Wash (9), UCLA (8) USC, Washington St.  
Atlantic 10 3 Richmond (11) Dayton  
Mountain West 3 UNLV (7) Colo St UNLV up from 8. Now likely solid.
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 Jamie Mac covers the league on the JCB.
WAC 1 Utah State (9)    
Horizon 1 Butler (12) Cleve St, UW-Mil  
Summit 1 1-bid Oakland (13)    
Ivy 1 1-bid Princeton (13) Harvard  

When the Matrix is next updated (before tonight's games - how inconvenient), I think it will look a liiiittle bit better for Michigan.

Today's Games

Wednesday is a HUGE night for college basketball, so there are going to be tons of games to watch (and the next couple days might not be frontpage-worthy). You're rooting against bubble-ish teams, though things get more complicated when a past Michigan opponent is involved.

[Ed-M: I'm throwing in a few results and smileys while waiting for certain people to finish packing, 'cause "girl's gotta have options"]

  • Iowa @ Michigan State (6:30, BTN). Pull for the Spartans to not embarrass themselves against Iowa (again). They're a fringe RPI top-50 team, and Michigan has the chance to get a season sweep on Saturday.
    MSU 85-66smiley
  • North Carolina @ Florida State (7:00, ESPN). You want North Carolina to smear Florida State's innards all over the gym. The 'Noles are a solid bubble team that can be knocked down.
    UNC 72-70smiley
  • Maryland @ Miami YTM (7:00, ESPNU). Maryland is on the wrong side of the bubble, and this game could end their tournament dreams.
    Miami YTM 80-66: Terps go derpsmiley
  • Memphis @ East Carolina (7:00). Pull for the Pirates to get the upset. Memphis is a bubble team, whereas ECU has no chance to make the field without winning the league.
    ECU 68-57 YAAARRRsmiley
  • SMU @ Central Florida (7:00). Central Florida is vaguely on the bubble, and this loss would knock them off for good.
    UCF 51-48 angry
  • St. Louis @ Dayton (7:00). The Flyers are near the bubble, and this loss would knock them out for good.
    St. Louis 69-51 smiley
  • UAB v. Southern Miss (7:00). Both are bubble teams, but I say root against UAB, since they're the ones currently considered "in." Trading spots would slightly weaken Conference USA on the whole.
    UAB 67-66 indecision
  • Richmond @ St. Joseph's (7:00). Root with all your might against Richmond. They're a bubble team currently in the tournament, but losing to a terrible St. Joe's would change that in a hurry.
    Richmond 69-54 angry
  • Colorado @ Iowa State (7:30, ESPN3). Iowa State can undo what Texas did, and get the Buffaloes off the bubble.
    Iowa State 95-90 cool
  • LSU @ Georgia (8:00, ESPN3). More SEC carnage plz.
    Georgia 73-53 angry
  • Cincinnati @ Marquette (8:00, ESPN3). Get these Golden Eagles off my bubble. If the Big East gets 11 freakin' teams into the tournament, I will do something drastic like be mildly upset.
    Cincy 67-60 smiley
  • Minnesota @ Northwestern (8:30, BTN). Michigan has a series split with each of these teams, but since Minnesota is on the bubble, I think you want them to lose and seal the deal. The way they've been playing lately, it's likely to happen. I guess you could theoretically want them to claw back into the RPI top-50 as well. I'm mostly indifferent on this one.
    Cats! 68-57 indecision
  • Clemson @ Duke (9:00, ESPN). Though they're a fellow bubble team, I think you want Clemson to win this game. They're behind Michigan in the pecking order, and the Wolverines have a big road win over them. More Michigan opponents in the tourney == better Michigan resume.
    Duke is up 10 with under a minute to go as I post this. frown
  • Utah @ Colorado State (9:00). A double whammy: Utah can knock Colorado State off the bubble for once and for all, and improve Michigan's strength of schedule.
    Colorado State is up 15 with 1:08 to go. broken heart
  • Marshall v. UTEP (9:05). Both are bubble teams, but UTEP is a past Michigan opponent.
    UTEP 82-74 smiley

Need to write all of that down? Some games are obviously more important than others. In the Clemson/Duke game, for instance, you could make an argument that you want either team to win (much like last night's PSU/OSU contest), so you can be happy no matter who emerges victorious.

As far as likelihood that all of these results come through the way we want? Well, Kenpom's odds have it at slightly better than 3.6x10-8. That includes our serious underdogs as well (even Clemson, who we're not even sure if we want to win), but in all the Kenpom favorite is "our team" in seven of the fifteen games.



March 2nd, 2011 at 10:00 PM ^

Cincinnati beats Marquette. This is very good, as I don't think the committee will hesitate to yank the Big East's 11th bid unless they're a very deserving team.

LSU couldn't take down Georgia, but that would have been a huge surprise, so no real harm done there.


March 3rd, 2011 at 12:17 AM ^

Looks like tonight was a good night. I think we would have a very good chance of getting into the Tourney beating MSU and being competitive against Illinois. I do think MSU is a must-win in terms of at-large hopes as the likelihood of a sub .500 conference team getting the nod is low. I hope the crowd on Saturday is mostly pro Michigan. 


March 3rd, 2011 at 10:17 AM ^

So what happens to Utah? They obviously aren't the same team without Davies, so how does this effect their seed? They were a borderline 1-seed before, and probably a lock for a 2. Will the committee seed based on results, or expectations? I'd be surprised to see them keep their 2, and probably come in around a 3 or 4.


March 3rd, 2011 at 10:20 AM ^

BYU you mean? Seeding's based on record and not expectation. Don't be surprised though if the committee drops them a seed line if the opportunity arises. They had a shot at a 1, they may have already fallen to a 3 after that loss.