Joe Lunardi Picks MBB to win the Big Ten in 2018

Submitted by Tshimanga Cowabunga on April 4th, 2017 at 4:57 PM

Joe Lunardi released his bracketology for 2017-2018. Lo and behold, Michigan is in all-caps and the highest seeded of 7 Big Ten teams (only at a 4 seed). Obviously, it is way too early to think about bracketology for next year but interesting to see a talking head think of Michigan as  a Big Ten favorite.


Perkis-Size Me

April 4th, 2017 at 5:16 PM ^

Will be tough sledding, but not impossible. If Simpson can at least be serviceable, if Matthews lives up to the hype, if MAAR picks up where he left off, and if Moe/DJ build off of what they've started, this team will be tough to beat every time it takes the floor. 

I know there are a lot of if's in that statement, but none of them are that outlandish. 


April 4th, 2017 at 5:27 PM ^

I mean, first red flag is it's Joe Lunardi predicting anything more than 15 minutes in the future.

Also, this feels optimistic.  Michigan is losing 2 seniors, one who was basically playing at a near-All-American by the end of the year, and replacing them with some decent pieces and a lot of uncertainty.  And the conference could be better next year depending on what happens at MSU and Purdue with players leaving for the NBA.

Again, if this team gels then, sure, they can make a run at a conference title.  But at this point I only feel comfortable saying they should be in the tourney somewhat comfortably.


April 4th, 2017 at 5:39 PM ^

every team in the country with uncertainity.  At this point, losing Walton and Irvin would hurt them but they gain highly touted player in Matthews plus experience with other players. This might be the most experienced Michigan team that John Beilein have as a Michigan coach.

They're a top 25 team without a doubt.


April 4th, 2017 at 5:29 PM ^

There's no clear cut favorite next year and my bet is that the title will be split. I think we'll see a tie between two 5 loss teams. Gotta think it's gonna be a scrum at the top between Maryland, Purdue, MSU, Michigan, and Minnesota.


April 4th, 2017 at 5:30 PM ^

MSU, Purdue, and Minnesota will all be very good next year. I'd put Michigan in with those 3 as the top tier as of right now. Wisconsin and Northwestern are close behind in tier 2.

Naked Bootlegger

April 5th, 2017 at 8:56 AM ^

I thought these same sentiments multiple times during the Bo Ryan era, and they still fielded competitive teams year in and year out.   I'm not counting Wisconsin out just yet.   I will only stick a fork in them next March when they're seeded #11 in the BTT.


April 4th, 2017 at 7:22 PM ^

I think they will have a hard time next year making the tournament.   they are replacing 4 starters and 2 were all big ten  teamers.   Happ is back but there guard play is gonna be their weakspot.  But all this is as of right now.  they could get a transfer or a impact freshmen just like any other team in basketball.


April 4th, 2017 at 6:30 PM ^

My guess is that he's factoring both DJ and Moe will return.  But whoever did the way to early rankings assumed DJ is gone.  Either way, it's nice to see the potential for next season.


April 4th, 2017 at 6:39 PM ^

We will take a small step back next year, unless someone turns into a first team all Big Ten caliber player. Moe needs to be more consistent. Matthews needs to be 95% of Irvin or better. And one of the freshman needs to be able to come in and play 20 great minutes a game. I think we can be very good, but we could also struggle if PG play is just average. PGs win championships.


April 4th, 2017 at 7:19 PM ^

He doesnt even know who is coming or going yet.  Cause Maryland will be a good team next year if Trimble stays.   Michigan will struggle early I bet cause of the uncertainy at the pg spot.  By the time BTT we should and hopefully will be hot and clicking at the right time again.


April 4th, 2017 at 7:26 PM ^

There are some mighty big shoes to fill, in Walton, Irvin.

I am in favor of guys leaving early if they are ready. But I think Wilson and Wagner both need more time. They will develop more at Michigan than languishing on the bench, or in the D League. If both come back I could see Michigan winning the conferene.  


April 4th, 2017 at 8:45 PM ^

This is false. You develop faster playing against NBA players every day where that is your sole focus. In college you play against players that are nowhere near as good, you have to go to class, spend time studying, and your practice time is limited by the NCAA.

I've said this before but it comes down to whether they want to be in college not whether they are ready for the NBA.

I believe both would get drafted. The piece Wagner wrote makes it seem that he genuinely enjoys the college experience. I'm not sure about Wilson but he too could feel similarly. He also could want a degree as he would be returning for his 4th year. No one knows, but that's really what it comes down to.


April 4th, 2017 at 10:28 PM ^

Assumes Mo and DJ return.  I look forward to seeing the new faces.  Matthews should be an upgrade to Irvin but will be hard to get Walton's production.  But won't necessarily need it if DJ and Mo get even better.  MAAR and Robinson should have a lot more confidence.

Should be a team to watch for sure.


Darker Blue

April 5th, 2017 at 12:49 AM ^

This team will go as far as its guards take them next year. If X can run the offense we should be a decent team. 

This team is losing a ton of leadership and that's a tough thing to replace. 

it should be a fun ride.