Rooting Interests for BTT Seeding

Submitted by joeyb on March 4th, 2013 at 2:56 PM

This is my breakdown of different possibilities for where Michigan will end up being seeded in the B1G tournament. I believe that Michigan has eliminated themselves from #1 seed contention. The top 5 teams will be the top 5 seeds in the tournament. If Michigan wins out, I believe that the lowest they can be seeded is #4.

The most important games are going to be the ones between the top 5 teams. Those are Michigan vs. Indiana, OSU vs. Indiana, and MSU vs. Wisconsin. To make this a bit simpler, I assume that Michigan wins out, so this will look at the different permutations of the latter two. Furthermore, this also assumes that the top 5 will win any matchups against bottom 7 teams. Any upsets in that regard, will still have Michigan in the top 4, and probably the top 3.


Indiana beats OSU, MSU beats Wisconsin

  1. Indiana (4 losses)
  2. Michigan (5 losses, win over Indiana)
  3. MSU (5 losses)
  4. Wisconsin (6 losses, win over Indiana)
  5. OSU (6 losses)

Indiana beats OSU, Wisconsin beats MSU

  1. Indiana (4 losses)
  2. Wisconsin (5 losses, head-to-head over Michigan)
  3. Michigan (5 losses)
  4. TBD (MSU/OSU tiebreaker will be record against lower seeded teams)
  5. TBD

OSU beats Indiana, MSU beats Wisconsin

  1. Indiana (5 losses, 4-2 against tied teams)
  2. OSU (5 losses, 3-3 against tied teams, 1-1 against Wisconsin)
  3. Michigan (5 losses, 3-3 against tied teams, 0-1 against Wisconsin)
  4. MSU (5 losses, 2-4 against tied teams)
  5. Wisconsin (6 losses)

OSU beats Indiana, Wisconsin beats MSU

  1. Wisconsin (5 losses, 3-1 against tied teams)
  2. OSU (5 losses, 3-3 against tied teams)
  3. Indiana (5 losses, 2-3 against tied teams, 2-0 against MSU)
  4. Michigan (5 losses, 2-3 against tied teams, 1-1 against MSU)
  5. MSU


In any of these cases, we miss the extra game with the 5-seed, but the 4 seed looks almost as bad with the path to winning having to go through 3 of the top 5 teams. The only place where that appears to happen is with OSU and Wisconsin winning their games. We'd likely have to play MSU, Wiscsonsin, Indiana/OSU. Brutal.

Other than that, we will have the 2 or 3 seed (again this is assuming we win out). There isn't a whole lot of difference between those two. I mean, you're looking at Illinois or Minnesota then the 2 or 3 seed. In terms of the teams that I'd like to play, I'd have to say I'd like another shot at Wisconsin, partly for redemption and partly because I think they are the easiest for us to beat. That path involves OSU and MSU losing their big games.

Conclusion: Root for Michigan, against OSU, and against MSU, just like you want to.

Edit: As others have mentioned, this does not take into account winning a share of the B1G championship. For that, we need OSU to be Indiana. If that happens, then we probably want MSU to beat Wisconsin for seeding purposes. OSU and Wisconsin winning gives us 3 games against the top 5 whereas the other 3 scenarios give us 2 games against the top 5. Taking both the championship and the tournament into account, root for OSU and for MSU to do whatever OSU ends up doing.



March 4th, 2013 at 3:08 PM ^

But more than anything we want OSU to beat Indiana.  This may hurt our seeding in the B1G tournament, but an Indiana loss to OSU and UM winning out, gives us a share of the B1G title. 

EQ RC Blue

March 4th, 2013 at 3:08 PM ^

...than have a better seed in the BTT.  In other words, I'll take OSU beating IU.

I think the main takeaway, though, and thanks for doing this, is that win out and we're guaranteed either a share of the B1G regular season championship or a 2-3 seed, fine results.  To be really greedy, though, it looks like we want OSU over IU and MSU over Wiscy (where we get the 3 seed and B1G share). 


March 4th, 2013 at 3:09 PM ^

In order for us to win out, IU will have to end up with 5 losses.. Which I think changes things up in some of your outlined scenarios.


March 4th, 2013 at 3:11 PM ^

The BTT is going to be a bloodbath.  I'm not sure putting every ounce of energy into that thing is the right decision.  Hopefully we use those games as a chance to improve aspects of our game that need improving.




March 4th, 2013 at 6:26 PM ^

If the season were to end today, the #2 and #3 seeds would probably have to play Illinois and Minnesota in the quarterfinals.  It's not out of the question that Illinois or Minnesota could fall to the 8th seed, which in that case the #1 seed in the tourney might have to play one of those teams in the quarterfinals.

To win the big ten tourney you're probably going to have to beat 3 teams that are going to be seeded at least 10 or higher or possibly 8 or higher in the ncaa tourney. 


March 4th, 2013 at 3:11 PM ^

I was actually hoping someone would put together a rooting interest guide. What would need to happen to secure us a top 4 seed, if we beat purdue and lose vs ind?

Kilgore Trout

March 4th, 2013 at 3:37 PM ^

I'm not  sure that's possible. That would put UM at six losses. Either MSU or Wisconsin has to have six losses as well (they play each other). Assuming Indiana beats OSU, that would put...

1. Indiana (3 losses)
2. MSU / UW winner (5 losses)
3. UM, OSU, MSU / UW loser (6 losses) 

If MSU wins Thursday in this scenario, UM is in a 3 way tie with OSU and Wisconsin. Winning percentages within the group...

Michigan (.333)
OSU (.500)
Wisconsin (.677)

Make Michigan the 5 seed.

If Wisconsin wins, UM, OSU, and MSU tie.

Michigan (.500)
OSU (.500)
MSU (.500)

None of the three have a win against Indiana, so it moves on to record against Wisconsin and UM is the loser there, so they're the 5. Losing the one off to Wisconsin is going to end up being the death of them.

So, unless one of the other teams loses an unexpected game to drop themselves into the 5 slot, I don't see how UM can get in the top 4 without winning out.

Zone Left

March 4th, 2013 at 3:24 PM ^

You want OSU to beat Indiana so Michigan can win a share of the league title. Seeding in the tournament really just means little once you get in the top four. Number 5 is the worst place to be, because you have to play an extra game to win a tournament title.

Wolverine Devotee

March 4th, 2013 at 3:28 PM ^

The hell with the seedings. I want the conference championship. For a conference title, it means you ran the gauntlet and survived the toughest conference in the country over the entire season. For a tourney title, you have to get hot and win 3-4 games.

1997-98* team sure as hell wasn't the best team in the conference, yet they got hot at the right time and won it.

B1G Championship > B1G Tournament Championship. 




March 4th, 2013 at 3:40 PM ^

Of course the regular season championship is better but that's not what the OP is discussing. Like most of us I'm assuming that Indiana wins tomorrow thus wrapping up their title alone, and in that case I want Michigan to have the best possible chance to win the B1G tourney, and that involves the scenario's he's laid above. The chance to share the title most likely went out the window last Wednesday in State College.


March 4th, 2013 at 4:17 PM ^

1997-98* team sure as hell wasn't the best team in the conference, yet they got hot at the right time and won it.

Actually, I thought they were the best team, but Maceo Baston missed a lot of time with a broken foot and we weren't the same without him. With Baston in the lineup we were really good.


March 4th, 2013 at 3:31 PM ^

We actually should root for OSU to beat Indiana.  If they beat Indiana and we beat Purdue, this gives us a shot at the B10 title.  Crazy enough potentially split three ways again with OSU and Indiana.  How does OSU have such a crap team but still get in this position?  Darn road game 21 point first half deficit.

EDIT: If I could moderate my own post, I would mark as redundant. 


March 4th, 2013 at 3:32 PM ^

But it had crossed my mind today that the one silver lining if Indiana does win tomorrow is that it knocks Ohio out of the tie, and gives them practically zero motivation to win that last game against us. So we can finish out with two wins, get better seeding in the Big Ten Tournament, and probably get better seeding in the Big Dance, because we'll almost for sure have a win vs. Indiana under our belt (the committee doesn't look to see how hard a team tried in a game...only who won). Indiana is better off for an overall #1 by doing well in the B1G Tournament and getting ready for that than just winning their last regular season game.

But I'd give that all up for a shot at the title in the last game at home, win or lose. Because it's all about the 'ships.


March 4th, 2013 at 3:37 PM ^

If Indiana beats OSU, they will be ripe for the picking on Sunday -- the game will mean little to them except for bragging rights.  They will likely get a 1 seed in the NCAAs regardless.  Michigan's beating Indiana (and Purdue) is probably more important vis-a-vis NCAA seeds than being co-B1G champion, especially if it winds up as a three- or four-way tie. 


March 4th, 2013 at 3:55 PM ^

Root for Michigan, against OSU, and against MSU, just like you want to.

For BTT seeding purposes, yes, but for a (possibly 4 way) split championship, we want to root for OSU, and for MSU.  In this scenario, we'd have a 4 way tie* (Indiana, Michigan, Ohio State, and Michigan State) for Big Ten champions [has happened only once in conference history, 1926 with Iowa, Michigan, Purdue, and Indiana sharing the crown].

This would put us as a 3 seed in the tournament, yes, but would give us a decent shot in the tournament + the regular season title.  This one is admittedly a long shot.

If Wisconsin beats MSU, they replace them as co-champions, but that outcome results in us being a 4 seed in the BTT instead of a 3 seed, that's why I said root for MSU (rather, root for Wisconsin to lose.  Also, fuck Wisconsin).

*If a 4-way tie is unappealing to you, pick one of OSU or winner of MSU/Wisconsin to lose one of their easier games over Northwestern/Penn State, respectively.  The only reason I find a 4-way tie appealing is because it would be fitting for a conference as stacked as ours.

Obligatory:  All this changes if Indiana wins vs. Ohio tomorrow in Bloomington


March 4th, 2013 at 5:00 PM ^

The 5 seed plays Penn State in the first round, so that's the last place we want to be. After that, the 4 seed would play Penn State if they beat the 5. Other than those two spots, we wouldn't see Penn State until the finals.

E. Gordon Gee

March 4th, 2013 at 4:50 PM ^

Rivals scractching each other backs rooting for the other to beat Indiana; now that's new! Something tell's me I've seen this before. I ran across an article that has eight permutations that accounts for a possible lost for Michigan vs. Indiana and how that would effect seeding in addition to what the OP has listed. Its worth a read if you would like to know where Michigan could possibly be seeded. 


March 4th, 2013 at 5:11 PM ^

In all reality the 2 or 3-line is the best, since we'll only have one other top-tier team on our side of the bracket.

I really just want another shot at Wisconsin at some point in the BTT though.


March 4th, 2013 at 5:36 PM ^

I agree that a 2 or 3 seed in the BTT would be great. I however am not looking for another game against Wisconsin - not only are the games ugly but we also have a record of 1-7 against them in the past 5 years. I'd rather play Minnesota, State/Ohio and Indiana in the three games.


March 4th, 2013 at 5:14 PM ^

I don't really care about the BTT at all.  I'd rather the players were able to rest up rather than wearing themselves out in 3-4 games in as many days.  

Honestly, Michigan's probably going to be a 4 seed or better, and that's fine with me.  This team is good enough to beat anyone on any day especially on a neutral court.  Don't need to be a 1 seed.


March 4th, 2013 at 7:08 PM ^

TeamRankings actually ran a simulated season and Big Ten Tournament - the current results as of today's update have us with an average 3.5 seed (so 3-4 basically). Here are their top 5 and the estimated chance of advancing to a given round:


Seed Team Quarter Semi Champ Win
1.1 Indiana 100.00% 88.57% 64.92% 48.52%
3.2 Wisconsin 98.41% 61.89% 30.26% 11.92%
3.5 Michigan 98.63% 58.90% 26.17% 10.90%
4.3 Ohio State 96.30% 54.82% 21.39% 10.38%
2.9 Michigan St 99.43% 61.09% 27.94% 10.00%



March 4th, 2013 at 10:00 PM ^

Here's my list of priorities...

1. Get 1 seed in NCAA tourney

2. Win Big 10 regular season title

3. Win Big 10 tournament

Since 1 is directly related to 2 and 3 it would behoove us to get a title split with Indiana and make the finals of the Big 10 tourney.

My rooting interests are against Gonzaga, Duke, Indiana, Louisville and Georgetown, and for whatever Michigan has to do to avoid the 4/5 quarterfinal matchup. That would be the ideal situation.