Good night for basketball's non-con SOS

Submitted by Bambi on January 8th, 2019 at 11:21 PM

3 of the 4 power conference teams Michigan played in the non-con played ranked opponents and won tonight. 

Unranked Villanova beat #24 St. Johns 76-71. They're the only undefeated team left in the Big East at 3-0 in conference.

#12 UNC just won at in-state rival #15 NC State 90-82. They're now 2-0 in conference.

Most surprisingly, unranked South Carolina just beat #14 Mississippi State 87-82 at home in OT. South Carolina entered conference play at 5-7 and has beaten Florida on the road and this game to move to 2-0 in conference.

Other finals: 

  • #6 MSU beat Purdue by 18 at home although Purdue gave them a run for most of the game.
  • #20 Iowa State lost at unranked Baylor a game after ISU wrecked Kansas.
  • #8 Texas Tech scraped by #23 Oklahoma at home 66-59. Tech is 3-0 and leads the Big 12 (only other undefeated is 1-0 TCU).
  • Texas lost at previously 0-2 in conference OK St. At this point MSU's best non-con win is either neutral court over this mediocre (10-5) Texas team or at an even more mediocre (8-5) Florida team.



January 8th, 2019 at 11:29 PM ^

The UNC win should look better and better as the season progresses.

And Nova seems to be getting things under control - Jay Wright has won 2 of the last 3 NCs and is a fricking 136-16 with the two NCs from 2014-15 thru 2017-18.

Just hoping we pull off the regular season and BIG 10 Tourney wins going into the real season. 

A Lot of Milk

January 9th, 2019 at 12:27 AM ^

Does this have to do with that annoying scheduling quirk where we get punished for playing the #300 team instead of the #200 team even though there's almost no distinction between those two teams and are only that far apart in rankings because so many teams fall around that talent level?

It's so annoying that MSU games the system by playing (and losing) to so many good teams and gets rewarded for losing games they never had a chance in because "they schedule so hard" and those losses get completely ignored. In 2017, MSU was a 9 seed with a 19-14 record. Last year, Nebraska didn't even make the field with a 22-10 record. That's disgusting bias 


January 9th, 2019 at 12:43 AM ^

Most years you would be correct about MSU but that doesnt really apply here.  First off, they have played a more difficult schedule than us so far.  Secondly, their 2 losses are pretty good ones- to Kansas on a neutral court to open the season, and a 4 point loss @Louisville.


I hate MSU as much as the next guy, but they are good this year.  Very similar to a Beilein team really in that the sum of their parts is better than any one player.  They have gelled really well and have many ways to beat you.  I would not be surprised if we split the series with them.


January 9th, 2019 at 11:00 AM ^

This is a bad take.

Michigan's non-conference schedule is not good this year.  People who think otherwise are looking only at the top end of it -- @Villanova and vs. UNC is a great start to any schedule.  Providence on a neutral court is a good game; a home game vs. USC (NTUSC) is fine.

But the rest of the schedule is bad.  It's not as bad as it has been in the past, but it's bad.  Michigan played the #290, #152, #242 (neutral court), #289, #211, #282, and #311 teams in KenPom.  That's 7 of 11 games, only one of which (#152 Holy Cross) is respectable.  (I'll give you #211 Western Michigan if you squint).

MSU has games vs #10, #253, #158, #326, #74, #29, #37, #23, #196, #228, and #124.  In other words, they have 8 games against teams in the top 200, as opposed to Michigan's 5.

Yes, MSU lost two of those games -- but winning and losing isn't included in the strength of schedule metrics.

Last year's Nebraska team is not an indication of bias.  They were deservingly left out of the tournament.  In KemPom A games, they went 1-8 (just the home victory vs. Michigan).  In KenPom B games, they were 5-2.

Compare that to Michigan's 8-5 and 5-2, respectively, or MSU's 5-4 and 11-0.  And, keep in mind, Michigan was a bubble team last year before they started their end-of-season winning streak.  6 of those 8 KenPom A wins were in February or March.

BTW, these metrics are not based on the rank of the teams involved, but rather their underlying characteristics.  If there's really not much of a difference between #200 and #300, then there won't be much of a difference in the calculated SOS either.


January 9th, 2019 at 11:17 AM ^

Part of Michigan's less than stellar OOC SOS is their lackluster preseason tournament where they faced a garbage George Washington team and a decent (but not great by any means) Providence. Looks like Michigan officially accepted an invite in May of 2018 so they should have known the relative quality level of the other teams involved (though I can't imagine anyone thought GW would be this bad).

MSU played in the more formidable  Las Vegas Invitational where they faced UCLA (who kinda sucks) and Texas (highly ranked in KP but also quite flawed). The rest of the difference is MSU playing slightly less awful teams at home.


January 9th, 2019 at 12:12 AM ^

I don't know how to gauge Texas. They beat UNC on a nuetral floor so technically their best win is better than ours. Very inconsistent team but seems to have potential

Beilein 4 Life

January 9th, 2019 at 12:23 AM ^

I got to watch Sparty tonight for the first time. Their strength is also our strength in that Winston and Ward will be swallowed up by X and Teske. I am also really going to like watching that weenie white hateable dickhead try to guard Poole or Iggy (whichever Langford isn’t on when he comes back). We are going to wreck MSU so I hope they keep winning and we can crush their dreams twice in 3 weeks

Mike Damone

January 9th, 2019 at 9:33 AM ^

No doubt.  Would love to go back to the posts after we played South Carolina, and find all the posters who stated that we sucked that night, and that South Carolina was an SEC "bottom feeder".  Those people do not know basketball - period. 

That was not Michigan's best game - but not that bad.  And if you couldn't see South Carolina's young, athletic talent in that game - which was likely to get better - then you don't know what you are talking about.  South Carolina will finish in the upper half of the SEC this year.

It was just more unneeded ignorance and negativity that permeated this blog throughout December. 



January 9th, 2019 at 12:08 PM ^

This place has a minority of reflexively negative individuals, or as they like to say "realists", and so when literally anything doesn't go as planned they freak out.  USC isn't a good team, but they basically have one bad loss (to Wyoming, and maybe Stony Brook though 146th isn't "bad") and otherwise have played like a middle-of-the-road P5 team.  They lost to UM and UVa but have otherwise played good teams pretty well.  



January 9th, 2019 at 9:23 AM ^

It's kind of unfair to basketball, but football season overlaps it quite a bit.

Basketball season is long over when football starts.  But football season is at its peak when basketball starts.  By the time you get through Ohio State, Early / Late Signing days, Bowl games, the CFP, and the silly season of coaching changes, basketball is into the heart of the Big Ten schedule.

So the attention on football slowly winds down while the attention on basketball ramps up.

Our basketball team deserves the attention, and it is rapidly building up now.  We've all had enough football to last a while.


East Quad

January 9th, 2019 at 8:31 AM ^

MSU is looking much better than the beginning of the year.  I am looking forward to the Izzo/Beilein battles and seeing how we fare against them.

Perkis-Size Me

January 9th, 2019 at 9:39 AM ^

I figured it was only a matter of time before Nova got things under control. They’re not going to repeat this year, but they should make the tournament again and may possibly win the Big East again. 

And the beatdown we gave UNC should look better and better as the season goes on. They’re probably one of the only teams on Duke’s schedule that has a legitimate chance to beat them. 


January 9th, 2019 at 1:42 PM ^

I think this game will be tougher than what people are making it out to be. Michigan is #2, so the place will be rocking and Illinois will bring their A game. Gonzaga only beat them by 6 and it was 2 point game in the final minute

I think we win, but I won't be surprised if there is another Northwestern type game


January 9th, 2019 at 10:14 AM ^

South Carolina looked better than their record against us a few weeks ago. Kotsar is a good player and Keyshawn Bryant is really athletic off the bench...he had success against Michigan in the lane. I think they might be in the top half of the SEC (which, I know). \

Right now KenPom has them at #104, two spots ahead of Illinois and 11 ahead of Rutger. Those are the lowest ranked Big Ten teams right now