Do we root for Clemson or duke?

Submitted by rman247 on February 27th, 2011 at 10:00 AM
Given the fact we beat Clemson, does it benefit us more if they beat duke, and improve their rpi, or if they lose and eliminate themselves as a bubble team?



February 27th, 2011 at 10:03 AM ^

i think anyway we can improve our own resume is important. There are going multiple bubble teams from many conferences, plus with a head to head win, you would think if it came down to us vs. clemson for one of the final spots we would have the edge. Plus, F-Duke!


February 27th, 2011 at 10:32 AM ^


The only way Clemson winning helps us right now is if they can climb to the top 50 of RPI. That isn't likely. I'd much rather remove any doubt that exists and have them lose to Duke.

Other results we want today:

Sparty win against Purdue (or to get completely blown out of the water but a win is more helpful), Xavier win over Dayton, Providence win over Marquette and a UNC win over Maryland.

turd ferguson

February 27th, 2011 at 12:53 PM ^

I totally disagree with you here (as far as what helps Michigan).

The only way that Clemson losing does us any good is if we otherwise would end up the first team out and Clemson the last team in.  The odds of that are almost zero. 

We need big wins, and our road win against Clemson was our biggest out-of-conference victory.  Cheer for Clemson (and Harvard, Oakland, etc.) every time they play for the rest of the season. 


February 27th, 2011 at 3:20 PM ^

Rooting for Duke to eliminate a bubble but rooting for State against PU?  Those are similar situations.  You're right about state but we also want Clemson to win.  We want to boost our own resume.  We aren't battling for a single spot against Clemson.  If a win by them boosts our resume relative to all the other teams on the bubble, it's fine that they boost theirs.  They're only one team.  Plus, as another poster mentioned, even with a win against Duke, Clemson is going to have a hard time passing us given we beat them at their place.


February 27th, 2011 at 3:28 PM ^

Has to do with where they are relative to the bubble. Clemson is behind us and could feasibly pass us (although unlikely). Like I said, Clemson winning only helps us if they can get in to the RPI top 50 which is also unlikely. So beating Duke doesn't help us in anyway. It doesn't improve our victory over them, all it does is put them closer to passing us up for an at-large. Again, that's unlikely why but take a risk?

As for Sparty, they are inexplicably on the right side of the bubble. And unless they find a way to gack away the rest of their games (which is possible because they're terrible) they should be in the tournament. Rather then try and fight that, it would be better to see them improve their resume for when we sweep them.

Now it's a moot point since Sparty shat the bed again but that's what the thinking was. Clemson win couldn't improve our victory against them and would only put them closer to a bid. Sparty win would improve their profile, improving our win(s) against them.


February 27th, 2011 at 12:18 PM ^

I think we want Sparty to lose this game.  We want to get the 5 seed in the BTT, and we need MSU to lose today to get that.  Otherwise Our BTT tourney path is Iowa or Indiana then Wisconsin or Purdue.  I'd rather not have the chance to lose to a bad team and get a more winnable Illinois. 

Also - Clemson is enough off the bubble that them beating Duke will still not make them look more appealing than us, but them winning will make our win over them look more impressive.  Clemson is 69 in RPI - a win over Duke will not get them into the top 50 RPI, but if Clemson gets into the top 50 RPI, that would be another top 50 team we beat.  Since we have the win over them (@ Clemson, no less) they would have to be ahead of us by a good bit to get a bid over us.


February 27th, 2011 at 12:25 PM ^

Disagree about Clemson. I don't see any scenario in which they get in the RPI top 50 so our win against them won't improve regardless. That said, a Duke win is something they can hang their hat on. We'd still be ahead of them, but that's an unnecessary risk to take.

As for Sparty/Purdue, I'm not terribly concerned about the BTT. We're going to have to beat someone good. I don't really care who it is, I don't think it's important. Why I say Sparty should win is that we need them to be as high as possible RPI-wise. Sparty's probably going to the tournament. Plain and simple. We also need to beat them again. If they can beat Purdue, solidify their tourney resume and lose to us again, there's an outside chance that we might not even need a BTT run, and just ride in on the coattails of Sparty who would be in but was swept by us.

I can see the argument to be made for rooting for Purdue, I just don't think it's the best course of action.


February 27th, 2011 at 12:47 PM ^

If MSU wins, then we likely finish with a win over a 10-8 team, a win over a bad team, and a loss to a 13-5 team. If Purdue wins, then we can finish with a win over two 9-9, tournament-bound teams, and a loss to a 16-2 team. A win over Purdue likely won't put them into the Top 30 in RPI and a loss likely won't drop them out of the top 50.

If anything, I think you would hope for MSU to lose today, Illinois to win @Purdue, then for us to beat MSU and Illinois. That would give us wins over a 9-9 team and a 10-8 team, plus Illinois would end up higher in the RPI because of it.


February 27th, 2011 at 2:12 PM ^

A 4 seed makes it possible to win the whole Big Ten Tournament.  Illinois, OSU, Purdue/Wisconsin.  It's doable.  This is especially true with OSU playing a desperate PSU or Minnesota in the first game.  

Sparty beating Purdue doesn't make the win over them that much bigger.  Finishing 4th in the Big Ten will help us much more than beating a Spartan team that's beaten Purdue.


February 27th, 2011 at 2:26 PM ^

I don't disagree with you, I just don't know if this scenario is absolutely necessary.

Like I said, we need to beat Sparty, without question. But if Sparty was able to solidify their position in the tournament (which a victory over Purdue and Iowa would probably do) then we might get dragged in regardless of BTT play. We'd have a similar resume with less quality wins but a season sweep against MSU. It would be near impossible for the committee to take one without the other (and MSU would be going).

That's my rationale as far as wanting Sparty to win goes. Nothing against the losing scenario, I just think it's slightly tougher if we have to beat MSU/BTT Quarterfinal Opponent as opposed to MSU/First Round Bottom-Feeder.

Disclaimer: I've been looking at the bubble all day and this is one of the weakest bubbles I've seen in a long time. Couple that with an extra 3 at-large spots and we might be able to go back to the 2 weeks ago prediction of 3-2 in the final 5 games as being good enough. 19-12, 9-9 isn't horribly impressive, but so are a ton of other teams on the bubble. And the difference between them and us is not many other bubble teams can stand up to our RPI/SOS.


February 27th, 2011 at 2:58 PM ^

But regardless, they needed that win today to get in . They only have 16 wins, sure they have a tough schedule, but they also have some really bad losses against bad teams (Iowa).  I'm not sure how you can consider them a lock.  They are going to have to beat us on Saturday to get in.  If they're 9-9 and have 17 wins, they're going to need to make a run in the BTT to get in.  


They're not locks.  


February 27th, 2011 at 3:04 PM ^

RPI: 38, SOS: 5.

Sparty's an example of where there's a flaw in the selection process. Record aside, I think that the committee has a difficult time excluding them if they're on the border because A) They're MSU and B) The above.

As for them being a lock, had they won today I think they would have been. Even now, I think that unless they gag away the Iowa game and their BTT opener, they're still in. It isn't necessarily right. Their resume is far better then what the team is, just like ours probably isn't as good as the team is, but unfortunately it is what it is and the criteria isn't going to change two weeks ahead of selection sunday.

If it were based on performance alone instead of formulas, records against opponents based on said formulas and other arbitrary criterion, they'd be out and we'd probably be in. But it isn't so we need to work with those slightly idiotic measures.


February 27th, 2011 at 3:28 PM ^

The mystical "top 50" is a completely arbitrary cut off.  A Clemson win against Duke will bump them in the rpi which makes us look better whether they get to 49 or 51 or whatever.  Plus, the big thing is that a Clemson win will boost our RPI, which is more important than our opponents rpi.  We need to root for all of our past opponents, period.


February 27th, 2011 at 11:45 AM ^



Clemson is awful this year, Michigan would beat them again if they played again.  After the VT game, Duke is probably going to beat Clemson by 30-40.


February 27th, 2011 at 11:56 AM ^

At this point, I don't think it really matters.  The RPI and SOS numbers are not keeping UM out of the tourney - it is the lack of a big-time win.  I do think we need to root for Purdue hardcore because I fear that only one of the MSU-UM pairing will get in, and MSU struggling at the end of the year would be great. 


February 27th, 2011 at 11:58 AM ^

Go Purdue!  If they win then sharty beats iowa in the week, our game vs. sparty in crisler will ge sick.  Thats cause they would be 9-8 and wed be 8-9 in the B10.


February 27th, 2011 at 1:54 PM ^

Purdue is putting a hurting on MSU - it will be interesting to see if they don't blow that game against Iowa if this is a deflating loss.  Iowa is scary - they beat MSU by 20 already this year - and you never know.  


February 27th, 2011 at 2:23 PM ^

Does anyone else think that an upset looking Tom Izzo looks like Gary Oldman from Air Force One? 

Anyway, MSU losing by double digits with about 10 minutes to go. Hope it keeps up. 


February 27th, 2011 at 2:37 PM ^

Yeahhh, Sparty ain't winning this one.  ESPN commentary rabble says it's wrecking their bubble hopes, but I think a loss to us and Iowa would probably do it much more so than this loss.


February 27th, 2011 at 2:45 PM ^

HA!  Anyone actually watching the MSU/Purdue game? They are starting to intentionally foul down by 18 with 4:30 to go in the game. That is a desperate tactic if I have ever seen one by Izzo. Are we thinking Izzo thinks he needs this game to make the tourney? Or does Izzo actually think he can win down 20 with 4 minutes to go?


February 27th, 2011 at 3:20 PM ^

Wow, MSU looked pretty terrible today. They looked defeated and gave almost no effort from the get go (except Lucas, who scored almost  half of their points). I really can't comprehend why they are so mediocre this year. Either way it's pretty awesome and I can't wait for Saturday when we crush them.


February 27th, 2011 at 3:44 PM ^

They're just not all that good of a team, especially since Luscious's ouster.  Lucas is obviously very good, but he's a shoot-first PG and doesn't really get his teammates involved.  There's not all much else besides him.  Summers can't create his own shot.  Green sort of can, but he doesn't have that many moves.  The rest of the team is basically a bunch of warm bodies.  


February 27th, 2011 at 7:02 PM ^

I'll believe the Izzo Era is over when we see 3+ years of mediocrity.  The off-season antics with the Cavs couldn't have helped his standing with the team, and it looks like the thug life baggage is finally coming home to roost with the team.  Either way, more Spartan headaches = more super fun-times for the Michigan Wolverines.


February 27th, 2011 at 8:09 PM ^

I think it'll take more than 3 years.   He is worshipped like a God in East Lansing.  My grad school friend at MSU had football season tickets 3 rows behind Izzo, and guess what, that's all he ever talks about.  Like it was the greatest priveleage to be that close to Izzo.  He's a lifer there.  So i'll take the over on 3+ mediocre years.