ESPN Bubble Watch: Michigan has "work to do"

Submitted by SolidSmeef on February 6th, 2018 at 5:17 PM


The Wolverines are in very good shape in terms of their tournament profile, due largely, though not entirely, to their win at Michigan State on Jan. 13. (That win at Texas on Dec. 12 also is aging fairly well.) Nevertheless, there's room for improvement on the seed line and, in fact, if the season ended today, Michigan might face a top seed in the round of 32. Next up, however, is a tough and rather thankless stretch on the road, with visits to Northwestern and Wisconsin.


They list MSU and Purdue as locks and OSU has "should be in."  Maryland and Nebraska join Michigan in the "work to do" bucket.

Tonight's game will prove daunting due to the travel schedule issues due to weather/flights and Wisconsin is always tough on the road, even in their down years.

Go 4-2 in our last 6 and make the quarterfinals of the BTT - I don't see how we aren't a 7 seed at least.



February 6th, 2018 at 5:29 PM ^

ESPN fired Eamon Brennan, who did a very good job with "Bubble Watch" over the last several years.  

Brennan is now with The Athletic, so if you're willing to pay, you'll see the better version there.

That said - Michigan probably DOES, in the technical sense, have "work to do." 

If Michigan lost out, they'd be 19-13 and 8-11 in B1G play.  That gets you a home game in the NIT.  Losing out isn't likely to happen, but the odds aren't 0.0000000000000000000000000000000% either.


February 6th, 2018 at 6:15 PM ^

I'm not sure if this article is paywalled or not, I'm a subscriber, but here's what he had to say about Michigan in his first edition this year.

Michigan (18-6, 7-4 — RPI: 32, SOS: 61): Michigan State's RPI (23 entering Thursday's games) doesn't do justice to the Spartans; thus, neither does Michigan's Jan. 13 win in East Lansing do justice to the Wolverines. It may not guarantee John Beilein's team a bid, but with so little upside in the rest of the schedule – a Feb. 18 visit from Ohio State might be Michigan's only remaining tourney-bound opponent this season – it does give the Wolverines some wiggle room down the stretch.


February 6th, 2018 at 7:07 PM ^

probably needs two wins to secure a bid, and while Northwestern will probably be a tough game, their next two are against teams in total freefall mode. 

Eamonn Brennan was freaking awesome and did a great job. Him and Jason King and a few other people did amazing work on ESPN's college basketball site, and it's taken a pretty big hit in terms of respectability since then.


February 6th, 2018 at 5:36 PM ^

There’s a little room for error but not much. The Big Ten is weak this year so in conference wins don’t mean as much. Have to take care of Wisconsin and Iowa to avoid the worst possible losses left on the schedule. If we also beat OSU and avoid a bad loss in the BTT I think that would be enough to get us in the Tourney. Maybe wouldn’t need OSU but that would be a huge resume boost.


February 6th, 2018 at 6:27 PM ^

I highly doubt that Paul Finebaum is going to grow the requisite amount of residual hair around his ears and neckline in 10 years, but otherwise there are some marked similarities. 

As for the article, I am not sure how much more work there is to do other than win most of the rest of the way, which seems likely, and then make at least a decent showing in the conference tournament. 

Maize N' Ute

February 6th, 2018 at 5:50 PM ^

Michigan has the opportunity to win 23-25 games in the regular season.  Add another 1-2 or more wins in the B1G tourney, I think this team is just fine. 

Talk about "Click Bait"


February 6th, 2018 at 5:54 PM ^

He lays out his criteria in the opening paragraphs on what each category means.

And yes Michigan still has work to do. 4 road games are not going to be easy along with OSU at home.


February 6th, 2018 at 6:11 PM ^

This is a good time to point out the absurdity of Fox Sports "pivoting to video".  I tried to look up Howie Schwab's projection for the tournament field, and unless I'm mistaken, you cant see his field without watching a video.  People in charge of things are just in charge of things.


February 6th, 2018 at 6:51 PM ^

Yeah, this title isn't what they are really saying, but then again the ESPN article is inconsistent with itself as well.

Michigan is in the tournament. They can improve their seeding with more wins. News and weather on the 4's.