You can pencil Michigan in for the 8th seed of the B1G tournament

Submitted by Maizen on March 2nd, 2017 at 11:12 PM

Iowa just beat Wisconsin, which means if Iowa beats Penn State at home on Sunday Michigan is locked into the 8th seed of the B1G tournament win or lose at Nebraska. They'll likely face Illinois, winners of 5 straight, and then have to face Purdue.

Last night had consequences. Big ones.



March 2nd, 2017 at 11:17 PM ^

If Purdue beats NW, Maryland beats MSU, UM beats Nebraska, and Iowa beats PSU (all probably the favored outcomes), there would be a 4-way tie at 10-8 in the conference. I'm not doubting your knowledge, but am interested as to how that tiebreaker would work and why we'd be the 8 seed?


March 3rd, 2017 at 7:36 AM ^

is a good thing. That OSU matchup was not the draw I wanted. Our play at Illinois was not indicative of how the teams matchup. Illinois is a better matchup than OSU for us, (as evidenced by their return trip to AA) and a win against them will clear up any bubble ambiguity. Beating Illinois in the noon game on Thursday is a long standing tradition at Michigan and I am all about tradition. Also, seeing as how we just kicked the shit out of Purdue, who showed a complete inability to defend the perimeter against us, this is a better draw. Also, the NW game will make it impossible for this team to settle into complacency, which I do think was going to be a concern. Thanks Maizen, I needed a little pick-me-up this morning.

LS And Play

March 2nd, 2017 at 11:17 PM ^

Is Michigan ever not on the 1-8-9 side of the BTT bracket? We were last year, the year before and in 2014. It's so annoying because we get stuck at noon every damn year. 


March 3rd, 2017 at 10:05 AM ^

Very mediocre conference? - absolutely. Parity across the board? - yep

All getting stomped by top seeds in the 2nd round? - almost certain not to happen.  That's why it's called March madness and anything can happen in any given game.  Multiply that by 4 to 8 games with solid (but not elite) teams from a major conference (B1G) and I'd have to assume at least a few upsets occurs.

If you don't think any of the following teams (UM, MSU, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maryland, Purue, Northwestern) make it to the sweet 16, you are almost certainly wrong simply due to the number of teams and random nature of the tourney and matchups and brackets.

I don't think any of those teams are discernibly better than any other, despite what the records may say (as it seems most games in the conference are close and can break either way), nor do I think any of those teams are elite, or even very good.  That said, don't be surprised if 1 or 2 of them make a surprise run to the elite 8, with 1 maybe even backing in to the Final 4.

Purely from a UM perspective, if we get the right bracket and matchups we could be that team that makes a run given our offensive efficiency.  Get hot from 3 and anything can happen for this team. 

Wolverine Devotee

March 2nd, 2017 at 11:21 PM ^

At least it's at Noon. I'll just take half the day off on Friday if we win Thursday. Unless we're the champion 1 seed, I always hope for whatever is best for people who have to work during the day. I'm so fucking tired of the early session.


March 2nd, 2017 at 11:22 PM ^

Not that big - dropped us 1 line in seeding. Are you that worried about facing U of I at a neutral site? We beat both them and PU recently.

Yes, it sucks we lost a close one, but let's not blow it out of proportion. Beat Nebraska and we are firmly in. We aren't even first (or next) 4 out.

And Illinois has won 4 straight, not 5 - don't pencil in their game against Rutgers as a dub yet.



Stringer Bell

March 3rd, 2017 at 12:01 AM ^

We lost to Maryland when we were playing like garbage, and lost close games to Wisconsin and Minnesota on the road.  Purdue is the best team in the conference bar none, we want to avoid them, especially with the way Wisconsin and Maryland are sputtering down the stretch.


March 3rd, 2017 at 1:33 AM ^

with Purdue better than Wisconsin, Minnesota and maybe even Maryland. Their bigs can't guard us and they don't have guards that can break us down off the dribble.  What we struggle most with is good, aggressive perimeter defense (which Purdue's bigs are incapable of) and guards that can attack the paint and finish (which Purdue also doesn't have).

I would love to play them because the SOS bump is better and we have a better chance of beating them, even though I don't think there is another team in the B1G right now that we aren't just about even with or better than on a neutral floor.


March 3rd, 2017 at 7:39 AM ^

Purdue's big's are slow and methodical.  They can't beat a double on their own and they don't defend the post very well.  They rely on kick outs to the perimeter to be effective.

We beat Purdue because they were not hitting shots from the perimeter.  We know what that's like.

Problem is, you can't rely on them to keep missing those shots.  If they get hot, just like the way we are capable of, they'll beat us soundly.

It all depends on which team shows up on Friday.


uncle leo

March 3rd, 2017 at 9:18 AM ^

They are one of the better perimeter shooting teams in the country. Odds of that happening again are slim.

Not to mention, Michigan was shooting a ridiculous clip in the first half. That likely won't happen again.

I don't want to see this team face Purdue again.


March 3rd, 2017 at 9:34 AM ^

is necessarily presumed in this discussion that beating Purdue is a good thing. I don't think this team is going to win the BTT even if they make it to Saturday, and BTT outcomes are either entirely unrelated to NCAA outcomes or if anything, there may be a correlation between going deep in the BTT and faltering early in the NCAA tournament. 

Going on the assumption(a risky one, admittedly) that we beat Nebraska and beat Illinois to get to Purdue, I am not going to be particularly heartbroken if we drop that game.  This team has been playing for their tournament lives since the middle of January.  Perhaps they could use that weekend to charge the batteries if they are comfortably in.

Whatever with Purdue.  We already handed them a potent can of ass whippin, that should hold them for a while.  The highest seed possible for us in the dance right now is a 7 (that is even a huge stretch), even with a deep run in the BTT, and if things hold fairly static I am not even sure the 1 seeds are anymore daunting than the 2 seeds in potential second round matchups right now in the tourney.

We just need to secure a ticket(one more win, of any kind) and let things fall where they may.  Our second round BTT matchup is not of huge significance.


March 3rd, 2017 at 11:52 AM ^

We shot 42% (11-26) from 3 against Purdue, not that remarkable.  We could do that again.  

Whether they can be held to subpar shooting again is the much bigger question.


March 3rd, 2017 at 1:48 PM ^

we also played Maryland when teams had a stretch of ridiculous 3pt shooting against us (so it was as much unlucky as it was playing like garbage).  They shot 10-15 (!!!) and were only up three with 30 seconds to go when we started fouling to make the final margin seven.  We did fine in all other metrics.  Turned it over fewer times, didn't get outrebounded too badly, shot MUCH better from two.  I'd love another crack at them. If they shoot just 8-15 from three which is still over 50 percent, we win that game.


But Purdue is a good matchup for us.  They might be the best team overall but we are built to give them fits.  No one at the top of the conference scares me much.


March 2nd, 2017 at 11:37 PM ^

This post would be fine if you didn't seem so damn happy about being one step closer to being right about Beilein.


March 3rd, 2017 at 10:30 AM ^

is saying that your "fandom" has morphed into something else entirely.  Like, you seem to be intensely following your least favorite basketball team in the country, only so you can confirm how you already feel.  Michigan wins are now offensive to you, and losses gratifying.  You now hate Michigan basketball, so it is hard for your to speak objectively on the subject with people who like it.


March 3rd, 2017 at 11:52 AM ^

Yeah, that sounds fucking retarded. And if anyone has been objective on the subject its me, because the maize and blue colored glasses are off and I can recognize the obvious shortcomings Beilein has failed to address for a damn decade. Good day.


March 3rd, 2017 at 12:04 PM ^

Are we in the Dakota Territory in like 1920?

Also, there are a lot of people who recognized the shortcomings but are not obsessed with them.  Seriously, March Madness is a lot more fun when you are not actively criticizing and disparaging the team that you "cheer" for.  Try it.  You might like it.



March 3rd, 2017 at 12:34 PM ^

Yeah, it's going to be a lot of fun watching this team get its ass kicked by a #1 seed in the 2nd round if they are lucky enough to make it there.

Beilein is a slightly above average coach and nothing more. The sooner people recognize that the better.


March 3rd, 2017 at 1:05 PM ^

think most people agree with you.  He is not a elite Top 10 coach. He is probably more in the 15-20, and he is probably paid more than he worth based on those two impressive runs.  Fair.

However, he is a very principled man who treats his players, opposing players, opposing coaches, and the game itself with a tremendous degree of respect.  He understands how to teach the game and how important success on the floor is, but also understands the full picture of where Ws and Ls fit into the equation in the big picture of these players' lives.  He never berates his players or acts like the game is more important than it is. He would much rather lose than win without integrity.

He owns up.  He always holds himself accountable, and thus his players do as well.  His players are always available to the media and show complete respect and self-control in every word they say.  The never deflect, blame others, blame officials, or shy away from accepting fault, blame or responsibility.  We have been to the NCAA tournament 8 out 10 years that he has been here and has won two BIG championships and we were a tough bounce away from a third.  We are about to go to the tourney for the 7th time in 8 years.

You want Izzo, you want Calipari, you want Pitino?  Bleh.

You can have them.  I want Beilein.



March 3rd, 2017 at 1:21 PM ^

However, you seem to imply that JB's integrity and classy qualities are somehow super unique to college basketball.  No doubt there are some major scumbags in college bball (you mentioned a couple), but still the majority are no different than JB in terms of integrity.  I think too many people think that "integrity" and "winning" are almost mutually exclusive and the only person who can do both is JB.  This is where I disagree. 

I think we can do a lot better than JB and maintain our integrity.  This is nothing against JB, for whom I have a lot of respect, just that I have a certain expectation for the bball program that I don't think JB can really hit.


March 3rd, 2017 at 1:55 PM ^

did hit them though.  Really the only reason that you have those expectations for this era of Michigan basketball is because of where he took the team a couple of years ago.  I think it is very possible that his time has nearly passed at Michigan, but I don't think it is so blatantly obviously so that we should focus nearly exclusively on his weaknesses as Maizen does.

To fans like him, it is like 2012-2014 never happened at all because we have not had tremendous success since then.  That is not fair, particularly when this team has really come on strong this season.  I just don't think we have it as bad as he thinks we do, certainly not bad enough to live under the cloud of UPPER CASE BEILEIN DOOM TALK whenever we lose a game (which is not that frequently since the end of January).

(EDIT - And please nobody come back with "but the 1980s, the 1980s!"  We won a national title 28 years ago, I get it.  Since then we had a decade of systemic cheating that crippled our program for the next ten years.  Yes, Beilein brought this program back from dead.  I don't want to hear about Amaker's legendary NIT exploits).


March 3rd, 2017 at 3:10 PM ^

My expectations for the program have nothing to do with past performance.  I think too many people look at who we were under the past few coaches and determine who we should be now and going forward.  I look at other things like our top-notch facilitities, school brand (including jumpman stuff), close location to very good talent base, etc and determine who we can be now and going forward.  I really think we can be a lot better than this.

As for what I expect out of our program, the best analog I can think of is Wisconsin.  Why can't we be like them?  Is that too much to ask?  What do they have that we don't?


March 3rd, 2017 at 3:33 PM ^

we are Wisconsin essentially.  Both teams basically always have winning BIG records, frequently compete for the BIG title, make the tournament nearly every year, occassionally making a deep run and are always a tough out.  Wisconsin just happened to have their NCAA Final heartbreak a couple of years after we did.

Anyway, short answer.  I think we are Wisconsin, more or less, but that doesn't seem to be what people want.  You ask some people on here and Beilein should be fired if we don't make the Elite 8 every year.  That just isn't college basketball man.


March 3rd, 2017 at 4:38 PM ^

We are NOT Wisconsin.  Not even close.  I don't think there is any objective data suggests that we are on Wisconsin's level.  Just off the top of my head, over the past 10 years take a look at:

1. # of B10 Conference titles

2. # of B10 Tournament titles

3. # of NCAA tournament apperances, including average finish (#final fours, etc.)

4. Average final B10 ranking

5. % time as a top 25 team

6. head to head record versus each other

7. head to head record versus other top B10 teams

8. head to head record versus RPI top 50 teams

While I haven't done the research myself, I'm fairly certain Wisconsin has us pretty well beaten in each of these categories (could be wrong though).  And that's just for starters.