MBB: Bracketology Update

Submitted by LS And Play on January 30th, 2017 at 11:39 PM

In the most recent update on the Bracket Matrix (1/30), Michigan is currently one of the last 4 in the field as an 11 seed. 

ESPN, CBS, and SI all have Michigan as one of their last 4 teams in the field as well. 

Obviously, the next 7 days are critical for the team. 2-0 against OSU and MSU could give us a little bit of breathing room going into the last 7 conference games. 1-1 likely leaves Michigan in a similar position as they are today. 0-2 means we're probably finished. 

Other notes from the Bracket Matrix:

- The B1G gets 8 teams in the field, with one team occupying each seed line from 4-11. 

-Wisconsin is a 4 seed, Maryland a 5 seed, Purdue a 6 seed, NW a 7 seed, Minnesota an 8 seed, IU a 9 seed, and MSU is a 10 seed. 

-Not sure why Minnesota is so comfortably in the tournament right now; they are 3-6 in the conference and in absolute freefall, having lost 5 straight. 



January 31st, 2017 at 12:03 AM ^

is a weird team.  They have a high RPI (24th), two very good road wins (Purdue and NW) but yes, a mediocre kenpom (44th) and bad conference record of 3-6.  They'll be a good test of how much the committee has really shifted towards other ranking systems rather than the RPI. 


January 31st, 2017 at 12:14 AM ^

Minnesota's RPI is 24. Only one team has ever been left out with that high an RPI, and it was a mid-major (Missouri State).

As for us, 1-1 against OSU and MSU would be bad. If you split against them, and you split against Wisconsin and Purdue, then you need 3 road wins just to get to 9-9. We've lost 9 straight on the road.

Besides: Getting swept by State or losing at home to OSU's worst team in a decade and a half would be...less than ideal.

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January 31st, 2017 at 12:23 AM ^

Are we overlookin the Leicester/Cubs moment of the season: NORTHWESTERN WILL BE DANCING. Would take an epic tank to miss the tourney now -- 18-4 / 7-2. Last Power 5 team to never ever ever have been in the tourney, and they will be comfortably in.

There, jinxed em.

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January 31st, 2017 at 8:39 AM ^

Their front half of the schedule was the softest in the B1G.  Their back half is much tougher.  Still have to play @ Wisconsin, @ Purdue, @ Illinois, @ Indiana with home games against Maryland, Purdue and Michigan.  I think the best they can do in those 7 games is probably 2-5.  If you give them the home games against Rutgers and Illinois, the puts them at 11-7 in conference and probably in the tournament, but 1-6 in the above stretch probably puts them squarely on the bubble.  Long way to go.


January 31st, 2017 at 9:48 AM ^

What a difference a few years makes.

From Big Ten Championships, NBA first rounders, and a Final Four run to hoping to get 10 wins in the Big Ten to be a 10 or 11 seed in the tourney, and missing on virtually every recruiting target.

Let's face it, the basketball program is in a tailspin.


January 31st, 2017 at 9:59 AM ^

I'm not a huge "support the troops" guy, but good lord fans around here are melodramatic.  If people really are that bothered by the product on the court and feel it is in a tailspin, just watch something else.  But every thread about the basketball team features the same clutching of pearls and ankle-breaking bandwagon jumpers that were equally annoying when the team was making tourney runs and people were calling it a new dynasty.


January 31st, 2017 at 10:21 AM ^

Yes you are a huge "support the troops" guy. You along with a few others are consistently in basketball threads ripping on people for being fairweather fans. Secondly, we don't have to just go watch something else. A lot of us have put plenty of money into this university and attended there as well. So no, we won't just watch something else. If you can't handle criticism just own it.


January 31st, 2017 at 10:39 AM ^

what he is saying is that, as of this moment in time, the basketball team and program is what it is.  It is not great, Bob.  However, it does get irritating that we don't seem to be able to collectively just discuss the season, the team, and the tourney without the discussion turning into a collection of posts about how far we have fallen, how things used to be, and so on and so forth.

The team is not very good right now.  We all get that, but they are a fringe/bubble tourney team and Michigan getting into the tourney makes the first weekend of March Madness infinitely more satisfying to me.  We weren't very good last year but we got in and played in a very entertaining game against ND.  That was a fun Friday.  We lost, but we got to watch a game and enjoy the six hours in between the MSU debacle and our game.  I liked that afternoon.

Not trying to speak for him, but I think he was saying that for the time being, right now, let's just accept where our basketball program as a fact, duly noted, and be able to discuss topics like the NCAA tourney and our resume without constantly rehashing how it sucks to have to be discussing it.


uncle leo

January 31st, 2017 at 10:41 AM ^

If we can only look at things in a vacuum? It is ABSOLUTELY vital to compare how this season is to what it used to be. How else can we have discussions knowing that this team was once capable of being great?

Fans have no option but to accept where the team is, but that doesn't mean we should just smile and move on with our day. 

And the fact that Michigan basketball has sunken down to watching one enjoyable game against ND in the first round... I don't really know how else to word it, that's pretty pathetic. The bar is so low for this team.


January 31st, 2017 at 10:48 AM ^

but can you not just make that thread yourself and see whether it takes or not?  A lot of times people post something like "Michigan now in Last Four In on Bracket Matrix" and want to discuss how the road looks from that point, who we are competing with, what needs to happen and what cannot. 

When people come in with "My god how far we have fallen" and "This is absolutely pathetic, what a joke," they are not contributing to that thread, they are trolling it.  Nobody is asking you to "rally around the troops," we simply want to talk about a basketball game and the results of certain games etc. without being bombed by posters who are just pissed at everything about the basketball team.

uncle leo

January 31st, 2017 at 10:50 AM ^

When I see that Michigan basketball is one of the last teams to get in with this current edition of bracketology, it will naturally spawn those conversations. There's really no point in creating an additional thread to rant about the team.

With this season, there's really nothing much to say. They aren't a good team and they are incredibly stale to watch. 

So, with that being said, it makes me think back to prior teams recently and how talented, well-coached, and exciting they were. That's why people discuss the past, because sadly it's all we have right now. 


January 31st, 2017 at 10:58 AM ^

doesn't have to naturally spawn those conversations unless people go out of their way to allow it to.  We haven't been that team in three calendar years.  You may be pissed about that, and I agree it is unfortunate, but it really does not have to play into every basketball thread.  It is a broken record.

uncle leo

January 31st, 2017 at 11:02 AM ^

I wasn't going to say a word in this thread until someone said I'm not allowed to be disappointed. This is less about the team and more about a poster's mindset about the fan base. That's why I'm here, it's a mesage board. If I see something that catches my attention, I'll respond. 

I'm not sure what else can be said about this team/bracketology. They are one of the last teams in. That's about as far as we can go with this discussion.

uncle leo

January 31st, 2017 at 10:22 AM ^

Michigan's the team I've supported my whole life. So I'm not allowed to watch them without being critical? 

The product is in a tailspin. I want them to do well because Michigan basketball is something I've grown up with and it's a part of me. 

And I'd MUCH rather have those people calling it a dynasty and talking about how great they are when they actually had a good team, compared to watching what we do now. Honestly, if I get to enjoy an elite program and people chirp about their amazingness, who cares? Saying those two sects are equally annoying is way off-base.


January 31st, 2017 at 11:09 AM ^

There's that, but it seems like the confidence with which this team plays varies wildly from game to game, even more so when they are at Crisler versus when they are not. That to me is one of the things that needs to get worked on right now, perhaps moreso than the defense (which, yeah, a defensive PPP in the 1.1 range is....not good) and a few other on-court things. 


January 31st, 2017 at 11:06 AM ^

I don't know I'm getting a little Bruce Weber vibe from Beilein right now. Weber had that amazing 2 year run with the Dee Brown, Deron Williams, and Luther Head teams then kept hovering on the bubble for the remainder of his tenure. I think the wins over Indiana and Tulsa may have saved his job. 

6 tournaments in 9 years. Didn't make it out of the first weekend in his last 7 years. The primary difference is that Weber made those runs with players that Bill Self recruited and then bottomed out. But still, this is the last 5 years...

'12-'13: #4 Seed, made National Championship

'13-'14: #2 Seed, made Elite 8

'14-'15: Finished 16-16 

'15-'16: #11 Seed (Play-In), lost in 1st Round

'16-'17: On the Bubble

I just don't know if Beilein can get back to the place he was 3 years ago. If we're cool with being a program that is always in that 6-11 with an occasional burst into the Sweet 16 seed range, then you stick with Beilein. If not, maybe it's time to look at other options (especially if they miss the tournament this year). 

uncle leo

January 31st, 2017 at 11:17 AM ^

Good comparison. Both coaches have basically a .500 mark in the Big Ten, haven't really won anything and had a few great moments. The only difference is that Bruce started out on fire and then just faded. 

Beilein was not that good early, rose up, and has fallen back down.


January 31st, 2017 at 11:42 AM ^

Weber is a good comparison but as you said, big difference between getting to the finals with Self's players as opposed to Beilein doing so with his own recruits. i think that earned Beilein more goodwill (fair or not) in this situation.

Like a lot of people, I hope they turn it around and make a nice run to the tournament this year then we can ask questions after next year. But if they do want to make a move, Beilein's buyout makes things interesting. Here it is:

If they fire him this year: $6M

After next year: $5M

After 2018-2019: $1M

I'll believe Michigan spending big money on a basketball buyout (and for a well liked/good track record/ethical coach at that) when I see it. But if Warde really thinks it's going in a bad direction, there isn't much difference between this year and next year in making the move. And who knows, maybe the costs of having your basketball program being in limbo for 2 years and the negative recruiting that will come with it exceeds the $5-6M. So if we go in a tailspin to finish the year, I think doing it now is a reasonable stance. If we have something like last year where we sneak into the tournament, maybe you would see Beilein announcing a 2019 retirement date and they start the succession planning, similar to Gene Keady and Matt Painter a while back. 

The thing in basketball (which I think Jerry Seinfeld's uncle was getting at) is that aside from the top 5-10 bluebloods, the tournament makes a lot of teams and fanbases feel overly good about themselves. Any at-large spot in makes most fans happy because it gives them a rooting interest in what's probably the most fun sporting event of the year. So even the 45th or so best team feels pretty good about themselves. Whereas in football, the 45th best team was probably out of any meaningful race by October and had to start asking questions. So aside from a hardcore group (myself included) who thinks Michigan can be a top 10-15 program with the right mix of people, I don't think you're going to find much urgency across the fanbase as long as they're in the tournament mix.


January 31st, 2017 at 1:38 PM ^

Interesting stuff, although that buyout dropoff is illusory.

If Beilein is the coach in 2018-19, his contract will be extended/restructured in such a way that the buyout is bigger than $1M. The affordability of $1M is exactly why he'd never coach under that amount.

One way or the other, Michigan's decision on Beilein will be made at a time that he has a significant buyout. His agent wouldn't be doing his job otherwise.

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January 31st, 2017 at 11:33 AM ^

They are mentally and physically soft and weak especially on the road..They continue to have end of the half and game collapses.Defense has improved a little but LONG way to go on that. Here we are yet again getting to end of season wishng hoping praying that somehow we just sneak in as a 9,10, 11 seed...Im sorry but thats not good enough...just isnt..I expected way MORE of JBs team after they finally got over the hump...13 & 14 seems more and more like a abnormality now..Mich BB is on a downward trajectory..Ive found myself not even watching entire games anymore but checking in and out to see the score..They are SO predictable on the road..this makes me sad..I never used to do that. .Id watch ever second of every game.

Even if they do somehow sneak in This season is a dissapointment barring some historical winning streak which we all know isnt happening