February 13th, 2011 at 4:42 PM ^

True, but on the other hand, I believe our SOS is higher than it was two years ago.  The bottom line is that we're not doing much differently than we were two years ago, which should give us some hope.  As in 2009, the last five regular-season games will determine whether or not we deserve a bid.


February 13th, 2011 at 4:55 PM ^

had 7 wins over RPI top 50 teams and 2 over top 25 teams. And their SOS was 10.  

We have 0 top 50 wins.  I just dont think it's as simple as "win 9 games in the big 10 and you're in." 

Wisconsin had the 42nd best RPI in 2008-2009, went 10-8 in conference, finished ahead of Michigan and Minnesota, had the 16th toughest strength of schedule in the country, and was a 12 seed and one of the last teams in the dance.  The committee really, really wants you to have beaten some good teams.  


February 13th, 2011 at 5:06 PM ^

Just remember how young this team is, and giggle to yourself.  I know thinking about that makes me feel pretty confident about the future.  I am still hopeful to make the dance, but the NIT seemed to be more than what a lot of people predicted for Michigan this year.


February 13th, 2011 at 5:08 PM ^

It's been a very good season and I expect Michigan to be solidly in the tournament next year.  I just think people are assuming that .500 in conference gets Michigan in, and might be setting themselves up for disappointment given how the Committee usually seems to look at this stuff. 


February 13th, 2011 at 9:41 PM ^

We're at 58 right now w/ a SOS of 20 according to, w/ games remaining @#34 Ill, @#147 Iowa, vs#17 Wisc, @#37Minn, vs#48 MSU.

If we "keep our head above water" by going 3-2, the increased level of competition will lower our RPI.  The SOS component counts for 75% of the RPI, and a quick average of the above five games is a strong 57.  Mid-majors aren't going to be playing a homestretch anywhere near 57.

At the very least, a 3-2 finish takes us to the B1GT with visions of sugar plums dancing in our head.  Maybe not quite there yet, but certainly within reach with a strong B1GT showing.


February 13th, 2011 at 11:28 PM ^

You keep sayign UM doesn't have any RPI top 50 wins except for the fact that they do in Harvard and MSU. If they get to 9-9 in conference, it'll mean having beaten 2 out of the Minneosta/Wisconsin/Illinois/State contingent and thus would get us at least 4 top 50 wins. Add to that some of the other wins we would have just outiside this range(PSU x 2, Oakland, @Clemson) and the fact that the bubble is weaker than it was even two years ago, and you'll see that 9-9 probably gets us in the tourney. 


February 13th, 2011 at 5:10 PM ^

And if we finish 9-9, we'll have beaten some quality opponents.  Given the Big Ten's RPI strength this year, that should be sufficient - especially when there are three more at-large bids now that it's a 68-team tournament.

In any event, it's pretty cool that this is even a possibility.  I would never have predicted this in November.  I am very happy to have been wrong about this team's ceiling.


February 13th, 2011 at 5:10 PM ^

in 2008-2009, just a hair behind the ACC, and almost put 8 teams into the tournament.  

If we finish with wins over Illinois, Iowa and MSU, it's likely we'll only have one win over an RPI top 50 team.  I just can't see that coming close to getting us in the dance, even with the larger field.  


February 13th, 2011 at 8:01 PM ^

The Big Ten is 2nd in RPI again this season.  If they were to get 7 teams in the tourney again, we would basically just have to finish tied with PSU (better RPI and head-to-head sweep) to get in. 

At the same time, the ACC, SEC, and the Pac Ten are behind the Mountain West in conference RPI.  With Kansas State's poor conference record (4-6 with a game against KU next) and Baylor's low RPI (behind Michigan at the moment) and shitty OOC performance, I don't see the Big 12 getting more than 4 teams in at this point either. 

Your reasoning makes sense, but if you look around the country at the bubble teams Michigan would be competing against for a spot this year I just don't see a 9-9 Big Ten record giving them any trouble on Selection Sunday at this point.


February 13th, 2011 at 4:19 PM ^

Winning at Illinois will be extremely tough.  We haven't won there since 1996, I believe.  Lately, seeing us play there is like how we play at Madison.  We'll have the lead for the entire first half and then see it slip away in the second half losing by 10 or so.  Illinois has been playing bad ball lately but it wouldn't be surprising to see them finally get it together against us. 

The Iowa game is cause for concern.  They're a horrible team yet they play good at home.  Wisconsin barely escaped there with a 3 point win last week. 

We've won at Minnesota the last two years but they have lost alot of games lately and that's going to make them more dangerous when we play them. 


February 13th, 2011 at 4:27 PM ^

I'm just excited at how well this team is playing, they've looked really good ever since the losses to Indiana/Northwestern a month or two ago. 

The upside of this team is big, which not a lot of people thought before this year and winning with a classy guy like Belein running the show is very nice as well. 



February 13th, 2011 at 5:02 PM ^

I see this team as a NIT team, and an NCAA bid would be a huge bonus.  The "trap" I see a lot of people setting up for themselves is that many will be disappointed if Michigan doesn't make the NCAA.  Really, though, there is nothing to be disappointed about.  

I won't be disappointed if this team makes the NIT instead of the NCAA, because I didn't think they had a chance at either at the beginning of the season.  When Manny and Peedi left, they lost 34.9 ppg out of 64.3; that is 54 percent of their scoring.  Their two leading returning scorers, Novak and Douglas, averaged 14.4 points per game.  

They are, although this is fluid and not absolute, starting a junior, a sophomore, a redshirt freshman, and two true freshmen, with a junior, a redshirt freshman, and a true freshman as their main players coming off the bench.  Anything over .500 for this team looked like a miracle before the season started.  

I know a lot of "fans" like to nitpick at JB's strategy, but I would consider him a strong candidate for BT coach of the year honors if this team even sniffs the NCAA Tournament.  


February 13th, 2011 at 5:21 PM ^

I think the NCAA is more exciting and will be better for recruiting, but I think the NIT will give this team more experience for next year. They're a lot more likely to win some games and get more tournament experience for next year. So, I won't be disappointed with the NIT, because it's probably better to build for the future.


February 13th, 2011 at 6:43 PM ^

You have to weigh that against starting to make the Tournament regularly; which going 2 out of 3 years, and being "likely" for a third would be (no guarantee...we thought last Year's team was a Tourney team). Yes, they may win a few more games next year, and may be a step closer to a Big Ten run the year after. But if players want to go to the Dance, and that's where coaching careers are made. And our biggest need isn't development, it's talent. Big time players don't want to hear about an NIT run. The sooner we can show them we're a fixture in the NCAAs, the more likely we're able to start getting them.
<br>Not to say the NIT is a failure by any stretch. You're still a step closer than the team that looked to be fighting to just make THAT Tourney, which is a lot closer to where I'd thought they'd be that a fighting chance for the Big Dance.
<br>I don't think they beat Illinois, so I don't think they make it. But who's to say the games they couldn't close against Kansas and OSU doesn't work out better that day? (Though they were at home).
<br>Frankly, if they could find a way to not bomb the rest of the season, and manage to get MSU at home that last game, it'd be a season to build on; and the latter, pretty satisfying.


February 13th, 2011 at 6:45 PM ^

3 wins (Iowa, Minny and MSU) and 2 losses (Wisconsin and Illini) to finish the regular season at 19-13 with 9-9 conference record.  That is not good enough for NCAA tourney bid since Minny would qualify as a RPI top 50 win(MSU and Harvard is going to drop out of RPI top 50 IMO).  Michigan probably needs to win 2 more games in the BTT to be assured of a spot for the NCAA tourney.  The lack of quality wins is disturbing because selection committee wants quality wins moreso than SOS, RPI, records(both overall and conference).


4 wins would put Michigan to the bubble.  5 wins would almost assuredly put Michigan into the NCAA tourney(assuming that they don't lose in the 1st game of BTT).


I would put Michigan as a decent seed(probably #2 or #3) for the NIT.


February 13th, 2011 at 8:42 PM ^

If we went 9-9 in the Big 10 at the end of the year, we would be in so long as Wisconsin is one of those wins.  That would give us that marquee win on the schedule that the committee would like.  9-9 without a Wisconsin W would make it close, but I don't think it would be enough without a decent run through the Big 10 tourney. 

Steve in PA

February 13th, 2011 at 8:49 PM ^

I would rather see this team get into the NIT.  Yes, the NCAA is great.  But if we are NCAA I think it's one-and-done.  I think this team could win the NIT and young teams need more games not quick exits in tougher tournaments.

I'm sticking to my 20-win assumption to get in for sure but I think a top 3 finish in the B10 tournament with the recent run we've had could get this team dancing.


February 14th, 2011 at 2:41 PM ^

The NIT sucks.  It's marginally better than not playing at all, but in no way is it better than making the tourney, even if we lose in the first round.  Case in point: we made the NIT a bunch of times under Amaker.  It did nothing for us.  


February 13th, 2011 at 10:25 PM ^

I think the magic number is going to be 20 wins. A 2-3 finish puts us at 18-13 (8-10 B1G), and likely requires 2 tourney wins to get us in. 3-2 down the stretch puts us at 19-12 (9-9), and 1 win in the tourney probably gets us home.

Anything less than a 2-3 is death, and anything over 3-2 puts us in, IME.


February 14th, 2011 at 12:24 AM ^

The team has to take it one step at a time. Anybody in Michigan should try and make it out to Crisler for those home games as" the sixth man" could make all the difference. Whatever happens, this has been a very exciting season and a sign of good things to come. 


February 14th, 2011 at 9:07 AM ^

will get six for sure, seven is in my eyes a 50/50 proposition.  Minny is at Penn State this week, Penn State fighting like hell for one win to keep their "not going to happen" NCAA tourney hopes alive.  Need Penn State to win that game.  We have the season sweep over Penn State and assuming (possibly falsely) that M is going to win three more games, I see it as M v. Minnesota for that sixth spot if six is going to be the number, alot like 2008.  Aside from M (arguably), Minnesota's schedule softens a great deal after Penn State.  We need Taylor Battle to go all making every contested 23 footer he takes on Minnesota like he did on us, and then we need the game at The Barn badly.  Illinois is a very important game, but not the end all be all.  (Would be sooooo nice though, screw it, wear the maize unis) 

9-9 in conference, win at Minnesota, don't get outlasted by Minnesota in the Big Ten Tourney, and HELLO 12 SEED!!!  (Possibly hello 12 seed anyway if the Boston Colleges and WASUs of the world fall on hard times and Big Ten play looks impressive enough on the last weekend to squeeze out a 7th bid.)