Bubble Notes

Dylan Burkhardt
Manny Harris dunks versus PurdueThere are 16 days, 2 games, and a conference tournament left before Selection Sunday. With their win last night over Purdue, Michigan at the very least have put themselves on the bubble.

The latest bracketology reports are encouraging but these really are nothing more than a “whos hot” list in my mind. If Michigan loses Sunday I am sure they will be “out” next week but if they go on to beat Minnesota I think they will be back “in”. The value of these mock brackets is limited until the final week or so of the season so you have to take them for what they are: an estimate of the bracket if the season ended today.

Lunardi has Michigan as the last team in and Crashing the Dance also has Michigan in the field. Lunardi’s bracket is very interesting because Minnesota, Penn State, and Michigan are all right on the edge. Michigan and Penn State are the last two teams in while Minnesota is the first team out. These last couple games are absolutely huge and it looks like at least one Big Ten bubble team is going to be very disappointed on Selection Sunday.

The Michigan Resume

  • Record: 18-11 (8-8)
  • RPI: 46
  • SOS: 11
  • RPI Top 50: 5-8
  • RPI 50-100: 5-3
  • RPI 100+: 7-0
  • Quality wins: UCLA (neutral), Duke, Illinois, Purdue
  • Bad losses: Iowa
  • Last 10: 5-5

There are some real bright spots on Michigan’s resume including 10 wins versus top 100 teams and five against the top 50. They also have managed to go the distance really without a bad loss, Iowa hurt but they look like they could end up in the top 100 anyways. The issue for Michigan is that they have a lot of losses as well as two road games on deck.

Win one of the final two and Michigan is in business. Their RPI will probably jump a few more spots with a split putting it in the low forties. They might need to beat Northwestern in the first round of the BigTen tournament to be safe but that would be a very solid resume. Despite their inconsistency this year Michigan has a big RPI win in November (UCLA), December (Duke), January (Illinois), and February (Purdue).Lose the last two games and the going gets tough, the RPI could stay in the top 50 but it would be time for some magic in the Big Ten Tournament.


  • Beat Wisconsin, Lose to Minnesota: This would result in a 9-9 conference record and also give Michigan a big road win. They would probably want to win their first round Big Ten Tournament game but I think this is a pretty good situation.
  • Lose to Wisconsin, Beat Minnesota: Same feelings as above.
  • Beat Wisconsin, Beat Minnesota: Lock. 10-8 in conference with 7 wins over top 50 teams. Stone cold lock. Then again the odds are not very good to say the least.
  • Lose to Wisconsin, Lose to Minnesota: Need a Big Ten Tournament run if they can’t get it done on the road. This would likely give us the 8 seed which means we would play Northwestern and then Michigan State. If they could win those two they might be in the picture but they will need some luck.

It’s pretty simple, win one of these last two games and Michigan is in good shape heading to Conseco. Winning the first game of the Big Ten tournament isn’t necesarrily going to help but it doesn’t hurt, that’s the key there.

The best chance for a win has to be at Minnesota. Michigan handled them pretty well in Ann Arbor and even though Minnesota is a much better team at home, it’s still a game where Michigan certainly should have a chance. Wisconsin hasn’t been invincible at home this year (losses to Texas, Purdue, and Minnesota) but it is still the Kohl Center.

Weekend Viewing Guide

The other bubble teams worth keeping an eye on in my mind are: Cincinnati, Florida, Kansas State, Kentucky, Maryland, Miami, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma State, Penn State, Providence, San Diego State, and Texas A&M. I’m sure there are a few I missed but that’s the core group to root against.

Here is a quick run through of who to root for this weekend. Clearly Michigan needs to handle their own business but a little help never hurts. Teams to root for are in bold. If I missed a game leave it in the comments and I’ll add it to the list.

  • Georgetown at Villanova – Saturday, Noon ESPN
  • Texas A&M at Iowa State – Saturday, 1:30 PM ESPN360
  • Notre Dame at Connecticut – Saturday, 2PM CBS
  • Arizona at Washington – Saturday, 3PM FSN
  • Duke at Virginia Tech – Saturday, 3:30 PM, ABC
  • LSU at Kentucky – Saturday, 4PM CBS
  • Temple at Dayton – Saturday, 4PM
  • Texas at Oklahoma State – Saturday, 6PM ESPN
  • Indiana at Penn State – Saturday, 6PM BTN
  • USC at Stanford – Saturday, 8PM
  • SDSU at TCU – Saturday, 8:30 PM
  • South Carolina at Vanderbilt – Saturday 8:30 PM
  • UCLA at Cal – Saturday, 9PM ESPN
  • Tennessee at Florida – Sunday 2PM, CBS
  • Providence at Rutgers – Sunday, 2PM ESPNU
  • Cincinnati at Syracuse – Sunday, 2PM ESPN360
  • OSU at Purdue – Sunday, 4PM ESPN
  • Maryland at NC State – Sunday, 7:30 PM


Open Thread

This post will be the place for any bracketology talk over the weekend, at least until I get the game preview up. There is almost too much to keep track of here so if you have any added insight I would gladly listen. This definitely should be a fun weekend of basketball and at the very least it feels good that all of these games matter.

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  • Zach

    Illinois State over Creighton would help too.

  • I won’t call you crazy Giddings. Unfortunately you’re right. I can’t believe that G’town is still considered able to make the thing. There is no freaking way they should be in that argument. Their late season collapse, heck their second half of season collapse should dismiss them from any bubble. If it wasn’t for the Big East mythstique, they would be NIT bound.

  • jamie mac

    If Georgetown wins out and gets into the quarterfinals of the BE tournament, they might get a bid.

    If they win the Qfinal game, they will be a lock. At that point, they would have 20 wins, an 11-11 record in Big East Games and that SOS would be hard to overlook.

    Ironically, their schedule works against them because its going to be a while before they get a shot at an impressive win again.

    They have to win 4 more games, IMO, to at least be put in the conversation.

  • Giddings

    By the way, to follow up on my comment about biases on the committee, here’s a look at each member:

    1) Michael Slive (SEC Commissioner) – SEC has been awful this year but this guy could lobby for bubble teams like Kentucky and South Carolina.
    2) Tom O’Connor (George Mason AD) – Doesn’t look like the Colonial is strong enough this year for any at-larges, fortunately.
    3) Chris Hill (Utah AD) – May lobby for as many as 4 teams from the MWC, and they have decent cases. In reality it should be 2 or 3.
    4) Dan Guerrero (UCLA AD) – Should have a positive perception of Michigan since we beat his team but may also push for Pac-10 bubble teams like Arizona.
    5) Laing Kennedy (Kent State AD) – Maybe he’ll have a good perception of Michigan if he knows about the preseason scrimmage where we routed Kent State?
    6) Stanley Morrison (UC-Riverside AD) – He went to Cal, but they’re safely in.
    7) Eugene Smith (Ohio St AD) – May push for more Big Ten teams but probably doesn’t have a great perception of us since we were swept by OSU.
    8) Jeff Hathaway (UConn AD) – Should have a good perception of us given our performance in Storrs and his knowledge of Beilein, but may push for bubble Big East teams like G’Town since they beat the Huskies.
    9) Lynn Hickey (UT-San Antonio AD) – She’s coached at Kansas St and Texas A&M, 2 teams squarely on the bubble… besides that, tough to say.
    10) Mike Bobinski (Xavier AD) – May push for A-10 teams like Dayton, Temple, and Rhode Island, but it looks like the A-10 won’t get more than 2.

  • Andy

    Valenti is just a blow hard. He thinks if he talks down to everyone and has a lot of confidence, everyone will just fall in line with what he says. And, fortunately for him, he has a strong legion of slappies taht do just that (two of my good friends included). Don’t forget, after we beat UCLA (and before we beat Duke) he went on and on about how all UM had to do now was go 9-9 in the Big Ten and they were in, and if you thought any differently, you were an idiot. Now he says you’re an idiot if you believe that. It’s like being a weather man, make a prediction and go with it, no worries, no consequences, and you don’t have to admit it if you’re wrong!

  • MLAWyer

    The more I read and watch, the less confidence I have in Michigan being safely in with 1 more regular season win and a win in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.

    All I hear about is how Notre Dame and Georgetown are going to make a push to be on the bubble, and those programs both have names that carry some weight. Between those two, Cincy, and Providence, a couple are certain to make a run in the Big East Tournament and they will get a bid.

  • I agree that Georgetown will probably get in. Hopefully they slip up in one of their last two. If Michigan wins one of the next two they will still be in very good shape.

  • Georgetown’s RPI jumps to 40 with their win over Villanova. That was an absolutely pathetic game. GT turned the ball over on 38% of their possessions and Nova shot 36.7% eFG%. Both teams with TO rates over 30%, just bad basketball.

  • Thank you UConn. Notre Dame goes down by 7.

  • raiderfan

    Did I really see someone say the g’town vs. ‘nova game was great? Wow!! Really?

  • MLAWyer

    It was hideous basketball, but exciting to watch. The crowd was really into it and it was close the whole way.

  • Avery Queen

    good to see purdue ripping osu apart. espn giving no love to the boilermakers once again with no HD.

  • Giddings

    Purdue’s win should move them back into the RPI Top 25, which definitely helps us… plus we’re now tied for 6th in the Big Ten.

  • Yea, Iowa’s loss knocks them out of the top 100 (104 now). It would be very nice if they can pick up a win down the stretch, especially against bubble teams like OSU and PSU. They have been playing decent ball with Kelly at the point so it’ll be interesting.

  • Will

    Glad to see V-Tech fall to Duke. Now hoping OSU will do the same against Texas.

  • AG2

    I can’t believe I’m seeing this, but could IU take out Penn State at the Bryce-Jordan Center?

  • M.K.

    Basically five games that matter Sunday.
    We need…
    UM over Wiscy
    Tenn over Florida
    Rutgers over Providence
    Cuse over Cincy
    NC State over Maryland