MBB scenario: tied for 5th at 8-10...what would happen?

Submitted by maybaum on February 6th, 2011 at 10:12 AM

There is such a logjam in the middle of the B10 bball race that it seemed possible that we could finish fairly high, even with a losing record. Taking results that I think most people would consider plausible, it could wind up like this:

1. OSU 17-1
2. PUR 15-3
3. WIS 12-6
4. MINN 10-8
t-5. UM 8-10
t-5. MSU 8-10
t-5. ILL 8-10
t-8. PSU 6-12
t-8. NW 6-12
10. IOWA 5-13
11. IND 4-14

This has UM losing to WIS at home, and ILL & MINN on the road, and winning the rest.

What would happen? It's hard to see the B10 getting only 4 teams in the NCAA tournament, so which of the 8-10 teams would go? Note that, in this case, UM would have beaten MSU twice.



February 6th, 2011 at 3:25 PM ^

Prior to the win @PSU today, the RealTimeRPI.com site had us at 70 at two games above .500 w/ a SOS of 9.  (The CCD win doesn't count, I believe.)

Finishing 8-10 in the B1G would get us to four games over .500 in the regular season, and making it to the semi-final would get us to five games over .500.

For an estimate, Butler is at 43 presently @ five games over .500 w/ a SOS of 28.  I'm guessing that's about where that would place us. 

(It seems as if our f(games above .500, SOS) produces a lower RPI than, say MSU's f(+3, 8) = 50. Nonetheless, I think comparing us to Butler w/ an SOS of 28 is my SWAG at a discount adjustment.)






February 6th, 2011 at 10:26 AM ^

UM is not going to the Tourney this year.  There is a small chance I could be wrong, but it is highly unlikely. 

You pretty much need a .500 conference record to go dancing, and this is something we will not have come March.

We should all be happy with the NIT, although that is not a given either.

The NIT would mean improvement over last season despite starting 3 freshmen.

LSA Superstar

February 6th, 2011 at 11:20 AM ^

I upped you a point for being a rare MGoUser with a realistic perspective on this team. Coming into this season, this looked like a team that would win between 12 and 15 games. The fact that there's even the tiniest sliver of a chance of the NCAA frickin' tournament is a tremendous testament to Beilein's coaching.

An NIT bid would be enormously encouraging.


February 6th, 2011 at 3:27 PM ^

The OP simply posted a very plausible scenario and asked what would happen.  After today's win, 8-10 is essentially the expected scenario.  I agree that it probably wouldn't be good enough and that we'd need to win one of the WIS, @MINN or @ILL games but to win one of those isn't out of the question.

To say that we ARE NOT going to the tourney (which was dumb to say and then say there is a small chance), is ridiculous.  There is better than a small chance (after today, it'll be about 20-25% according to kenpom) that we go 9-9 in the conference which would be good enough to dance barring a BTT catastrophe.

If that's not enough for you to hope, you shouldn't even be a sports fan.


February 6th, 2011 at 5:20 PM ^

We've got a reasonable shot at finishing 4-3

Feb 9 vsNW 6:30 PM ET
Feb 12 vsIND 4:00 PM ET
Feb 16 @#24 ILL 8:30 PM ET
Feb 19 @IOWA 4:30 PM ET
Feb 23 vs#18 WIS 6:30 PM ET
Feb 26 @#20 MINN 4:30 PM ET
Mar 5 vsMSU 2:00 PM ET

I'm not saying "probable", but I prefer to see what is very possible there.


February 6th, 2011 at 10:28 AM ^

I agree with your regular season forecast but what happens in the tourny will determine what happens next IMO.  I dont see us getting a bid at 20-13 (I think that's the record if we go 8-10 in the conference and one and down in the tourny) but I think at 21-13 we probably do.  

Any way you slice it tho this year (seems like) it's going to as pleasant of a surprise as last year's was an unpleasant one.


February 6th, 2011 at 10:37 AM ^

8 wins is unlikely. But even then, we really have no big wins. Also I doubt Illinois finishes below .500, which would make us the 6th team in. Sweep MSU and make the NIT is all I'm hoping for here on out.


February 6th, 2011 at 10:49 AM ^

I would much rather see this team go to the NIT.  I love Michigan as much as anyone, but I'm not going to delude myself that this team has a chance of going to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament.  Somehow getting to the second week would be a miracle for this team.

On the other hand, the NIT is always full of flawed teams.  Michigan, for example, is too young and doesn't have enough bulk or experience in the middle.  And, while they have gotten contributions from a lot of players this year, there is no "stopper" on this team who always sinks a crucial shot to break up "dry spells."  

Michigan would be a much better fit in the NIT, and could make a decent run in that tournament.  This would give a young team experience and motivation for next year.  And they would be a lot of fun to watch when they are playing in a tournament they have a legitimate chance to win.


February 6th, 2011 at 11:28 AM ^

if there are quality wins mixed in there, a win or two in the BT tourney and MSU starts playing MSU'ish upping the profile of beating them, it is possible. Lot depends on the landscape nationally of course.  But good thinking. Kind of gave me something to focus in on like 09.


February 6th, 2011 at 1:07 PM ^

I'll jump on the "NIT would be good" bandwagon  here.....

Barring the outside chance that Michigan suddenly goes on some sort of tear so late in the season, they aren't going to see March Madness, and even if they could win a few at the end here, it wouldn't be a lock for a spot in the tourney.

If they go anywhere, it would be to the NIT, and really, that wouldn't be so bad given what this team is right now. 


February 6th, 2011 at 2:13 PM ^

We're NIT bound and I'm fine with that. Our team is so damn young that if we finish out strong and end up with 7 or 8 wins in the conference I will be happy. And to think that preseason i was DREADING this year. I thought that without sims and harris our team was doomed. But we look better than ever. I think next year is our year to be a constant top 25 team.


February 6th, 2011 at 2:14 PM ^

We're NIT bound and I'm fine with that. Our team is so damn young that if we finish out strong and end up with 7 or 8 wins in the conference I will be happy. And to think that preseason i was DREADING this year. I thought that without sims and harris our team was doomed. But we look better than ever. I think next year is our year to be a constant top 25 team.


February 6th, 2011 at 2:23 PM ^

Which probably won't happen.  We *should* win 3 of the next 4, putting us at 7-8, which means we would need 2 of three in games against Wisconsin, at Minnesota, and home against MSU.  It's not impossible, but I wouldn't bet on it.  Also, even at 9-9, we'd probably need at least one win in the BTT. 

The  one thing in our favor this year is that there are three more spots than last year.  A 9-9 record in conference can get us into the First Four.  It also helps that both Indiana and Northwestern (our worst losses) have beaten Illinois, and Indiana beat Minnesota this week, so those losses don't look as bad as they could.  The record isn't great, but what came into today as the 9th hardest schedule in the country, and with what could be 5 tournament teams in the nonconference schedule, will help if we can give the committee a reason to look at us.


February 6th, 2011 at 4:47 PM ^

I'll take any NCAA tournament bid over an NIT title every year, thank you very much, no questions asked. Just ask Tommy Amaker how that NIT title worked out for him here.

At 8-10 in the BIg Ten, we better plan on winning 2 games in the Big 10 tournament to get to  10 conference wins. That should be enough. Anything less and they're asking for favors from the selection committee, and I don't like our chances there.

Steve in PA

February 6th, 2011 at 5:48 PM ^

Unless we get to 20 wins or B10 Tournament Champion we aren't going to the NCAA.  NIT is within reach, but we cannot keep losing close games.  Today's road win against an overperforming team was a step in the right direction.


February 6th, 2011 at 6:58 PM ^

I think 7-11 is more likely, and no tournament.

However, given what you said, I think the lack of a signature win (though we've lost close games to 4 top 5 teams) would be the obstacle to get over.

If we finish 8-10, it means our best win (likely) comes over a very horribly bad MSU team.

That's not so encouraging.

However, a NIT bid would be a good start -- this team is going to be *way* fun to watch in the future.  I am really excited about where this team could go, the player-development center, the Crisler renovations.

Does someone else feel the pendulum swinging our way, albeit slightly?



February 6th, 2011 at 7:56 PM ^

We won't go to the tourney at 8-10.  Our RPI isn't strong enough.  In the above scenario. I think Illinois would be the only 8-10 team to have a shot, and I don't even know how strong it would be.  The selection committee doesn't like teams with sub-.500 conference records.


February 7th, 2011 at 10:36 AM ^

Is more one of how much more can this team improve this year and how much more can its young players grow?  Are we looking at the start of a run with both recruiting talent (Morris, Hardaway, Morgan, Smotrycz, Burke, Brundidge, Horford, G. Robinson 3rd, etc) and superior coaching / player development taking us back into the Big Ten race on an annual basis?

That steady climb is of more importance to rebuilding the relevance and stature of Michigan b-ball than a one and done NCAA exit.  If the team and its personnel continue to grow in terms of maturity, size, and learning how to win, and we keep improving our recruiting and being seen as an upcoming and shall we say returning Big Ten basketball power, we will all be happy with what we will behold in another year or two and then on an ongoing basis.