MBB Remaining Schedule Side-by-Side

Submitted by GRFS11 on January 27th, 2014 at 2:05 PM

It's probably helpful to look at the remaining conference schedules for the top four B1G teams (for now, I am excluding Minnesota and Ohio St from title contention, because it seems like a longshot).


Michigan (0 losses) MSU (1 loss) Iowa (2 losses) Wisconsin (3 losses)


@Iowa MSU NW
@IU PSU @UI Ohio St
Nebraska @Wisconsin Ohio St @UI
@Iowa NW Michigan MSU
@Ohio St Nebraska @PSU Minnesota
Wisconsin @Purdue @IU @Michigan
MSU @Michigan Wisconsin @Iowa
@Purdue UI @Minnesota IU
Minnesota Iowa Purdue @PSU
@UI @Ohio St @MSU Purdue
IU   UI @Nebraska
6 home/5 away 5 home/5 away 6 home/5 away 6 home/5 away


Michigan's hardest 4 remaining games:  @Iowa, @Ohio St, Wisconsin, MSU

MSU's hardest 4 remaining games:  @Iowa, @Wisconsin, @Michigan, Iowa/@Ohio St

Iowa's hardest 4 remaining games:  MSU, Michigan, Wisconsin/@Minnesota, @MSU

Wisconsin's hardest 4 remaining games:  Ohio St/Minnesota, MSU, @Michigan, @Iowa


What is apparent is that (1) if we win all our home games, it will be very, very difficult for someone to outright beat us; (2) MSU would appear to have the hardest remaining schedule, with away games at the other 3 contenders plus @Ohio St; (3) it is REALLY good that Wisconsin has suffered a few losses, because their schedule is favorable going down the stretch.  It is also crucial that we don't have a letdown and lose 1-2 of the next 3, because that squanders the advantage in the schedule.




steve sharik

January 27th, 2014 at 2:11 PM ^

...number of days between games.  It helps to have extra prep and rest time before big games.  Recall the impact of having little of either heading in to Breslin last season.


January 27th, 2014 at 2:13 PM ^

"MSU would appear to have the hardest remaining schedule, with away games at the other 3 contenders plus @Ohio St"

The fact that osu is in a grouping that is not among other contenders makes me very happy.


January 27th, 2014 at 2:18 PM ^

The revised projections at Massey now have us with five games that would have projected likelihoods of 80% or better for us (both games with Purdue, Nebraska, Minnesota and Indiana at home). The only two that would project below 50% for a win probability are Iowa and Ohio State on the road now. The estimated likelihood of winning at least those five games mentioned is a little south of a 50/50 shot now (48.85%). I like the odds of just that alone, but I have a feeling we do even better than that. 

Everyone Murders

January 27th, 2014 at 2:25 PM ^

Except for Michigan, the main contenders seem to have a reasonable rhythm of tough game - easier game - tough game - easier game.  I don't know how it ultimately affects things (obviously Michigan showed this past week that it can rise above), but it has to affect things in some way, doesn't it?  

At first blush, you'd think it hurts Michigan on the theory that it's hard to maintain excellence through a four game stretch of Iowa, OSU, Wisconsin and MSU.  But that's just a guess on my part.

Nice post OP.  It's interesting to look at the remaining schedules, and being at the end of our first murderer's row is a good time to put up this chart. 

Dilithium Wings

January 27th, 2014 at 2:23 PM ^

Who would have thought this was possible? I think most of us was just hoping to go 1-2 in those three games.

This team has come a long way from the beginning of the season. Earlier in the season this team would have lost the wisky and Msu game like they did against isu and Arizona. Hell of a job by this coaching staff and players by staying focused and improving.


January 27th, 2014 at 2:55 PM ^

And, after we complete Gauntlet #2, really the last four games aren't all that much tougher than Wisconsin's last four.  The next three games are "must wins" and then during that tough stretch they need to hold serve as best as possible.  The last four will decide the champion, and I prefer our stretch there versus what MSU and Iowa have to face.

snarling wolverine

January 27th, 2014 at 2:57 PM ^

It looks pretty doable.  Still, those "easy" road games aren't gimmes.  Indiana and Illinois are difficult road environments even if their teams are a little down.   And while this should be the year to end the losing streak in Columbus, we have to play there on only two days' rest after playing at Iowa, which could be a factor.  Tired legs can especially be an issue for a perimeter-oriented team

If we can sweep the next three, I'll feel pretty good about our chances.   If we get to 10-0, we should have a cushion of at least two games in the standings.



January 27th, 2014 at 3:02 PM ^

Thanks for doing this! I was wondering how it looked after the next five games. I truly hope the team keeps playing with a chip on its shoulder. A disappointing nonsensical loss like the Penn State loss last year would really hurt.

Blue Mike

January 27th, 2014 at 3:06 PM ^

If everything were to hold serve (all four winning at home, beating lesser teams on the road), it would end up with UM at 16-2, Iowa at 15-3, and MSU/Wiscy at 13-5.  That likely won't happen, but I would take that.

Does winning the B1G taste any worse if it comes with a loss in Columbus and no chance at revenge?


January 27th, 2014 at 3:50 PM ^

No, not in the slightest, just like winning the B1G in 2012 didn't taste any worse considering it came from an osu win (granted, it was over sparty so not quite as bad). Now, the thing that still stings was the clunker against Purdue that year, shitting the bed on senior night for the first home loss of the season, since a win there and osu's win over sparty would have given us the B1G outright. Oh, that and the 1st round of the NCAAs that I'm going to forget ever happened...

Uncle Rico

January 28th, 2014 at 10:24 AM ^

If there's one thing I expect, it's a lot of continued break serve all over the place.  All these teams are good, and none of them are great.

For example, It's very easy to imagine MSU or Wisky coming into Crisler and stealing back a game.  All it would take was an off night for Nik, or too many bad decisions from Walton, etc.  Also VERY easy to imagine losing in Bloomington.

My prediction is 13-5 could tie, and 14-4 will be good enough to win outright.  I'm feeling another 2012 logjam ending.  Sorry.  If I'm wrong and this team finishes outright #1, it'll be a an amazing story, and make this one of the best 12 month stretches of UM basketball any of us can remember... (oh, those lean years...)

SF Wolverine

January 27th, 2014 at 3:19 PM ^

1.  Need to get through the remainder with no more than two home losses.  This is not a no-brainer; with games against Wiscy, MSU, Minnesota and Nebraska (no, I am not kidding).

2.  Ditto with remaining road games.  Given the recent greats road wins, this is actually very doable.  Got to go to Columbus, but rest of those games are winnable.

3.  No matter how many thousands of fouls are called, got to pull out a win at Indiana.

14-4 in the B10 should get us a tie; if we can beat Sparty at home, 14-4 might get us the title outright.


January 27th, 2014 at 3:33 PM ^

The big concern I have for us moving forward is defense.  We haven't held a team to under 1.0 PPP since Jan. 5th against Northwestern (and allowed 1.20 PPP against MSU this weekend).  This is mitigated by our offensive efficiency -- we're scoring and we're good at it.  

Can we keep up the pace through the rest of the Big Ten?


January 27th, 2014 at 3:40 PM ^

I really see this as a three team race between Michigan, Michigan State, and Iowa. Would be jacked if Iowa knocks off MSU tommorow, haven't checked the line but I am guessing they are favored. Having a 2 game lead going into the Purdue game would be spectacular. Take care of Purdue and Indiana without a letdown and I will be better that we have at least a 2 game lead sitting at 9-0.

Mercury Hayes

January 27th, 2014 at 4:13 PM ^

I don't know why we are discussing remaining schedules. This team is on pace to never lose a B1G game again. 18-0. B1G Ten Champs, conference tournament champs, one seed. Lock it up.


January 27th, 2014 at 4:53 PM ^

Apologize that I'm not good at embedding tables.

Instead of just putting schedules side by side, how about we sort them by degree of difficulty?  And I'll assume that the same trip (e.g. "at Minnesota") is the same for everyone in terms of difficult, even though logically, it varies based on days of prep, prior opponent, and potentially emotional games (rivalry).

Divide up everyone's schedule into four categories:

"Not favored" -- road games against tough opponents
UM - 2 (@Iowa, @OSU)
Staee-4 (@Iowa, @OSU, @UM, @Wiscy)
Iowa-1 (@Staee)
Wiscy-2 (@Iowa, @UM)

"Favored but hard" - home games against tough opponents, or road games you really don't want to have to play.  The game at Illinois is debatable, but it's on 3 of the 4 schedules, so wherever you put it ends up being a wash.
UM-4 (v. Wiscy; v. Staee; @Indiana; @Illinois)
Staee-1 (Iowa)
Iowa-7 (v. Wiscy, v. Staee, V. UM, @Indiana, @Illinois, @Minney, v. OSU)
Wiscy-3 (v. Staee, @ Illinois, v. OSU)

"Favored but dangerous" - games you really should win but it IS the B1G after all.
UM-3 (@Purdue, v. Minney, v. Indiana)
Staee-1 (@ Purdue)
Wiscy-3 (v. Minney, v. Indiana, @ Nebraska)

"Easy wins" -- easy home games and/or the trip to Penn State.
UM-2 (v. Purdue, v. Nebraska)
Staee-4 (v. Nebraska, v. Illinois, v. Penn State, v. NW)
Iowa-3 (v. Purdue, v. Illinois, @Penn State)
Wiscy-3 (v. Purdue, @ Penn State, v. NW)

I think our three competitors have it WAY too tough.  MSU is banged up and has four hugely difficult road games.  Iowa has eight really difficult games left.  Given that Iowa is two back of us, it looks like too much for them.  Wiscy's schedule is NOT that easy, it certainly isn't really any easier than ours.

Wow... all this means... we'd be the #1 seed in the B1G Tournament.  And as of that point, it doesn't matter at all...

One other weird thing.  The teams likely to have the LEAST impact on the conference champion?  NW plays only two games against the top 4 the rest of the way!  And Nebraska plays only 3, with 2 of them on the road.


January 27th, 2014 at 5:32 PM ^

If you assign a 40% chance of winning to "not favored", 55% to "favored but hard", 70% to "favored but dangerous" and 85% to "easy wins", I get the following (barring some math errors which are surely presen because I'm doing this on the back of an envelope)


UM = 7 current wins + expected 6.7 remaining = 13.7 total conference wins

Staee = 7 current wins plus 6.25 remaining = 13.25 wins

Iowa = 5 current wins plus 6.8 remaining = 11.8 wins

Wisky = 4 current wins plus 7.1 remaining = 11.1 wins

Yall are welcome to slap some other probabilities up there, I don't imagine it would change the expectation order very much.  Interesting to note that that, UM's expectation is 3rd of 4 (i.e. it still has a very tough schedule head compared to Wisky and Iowa.