Bracket Watch: February 28th, 2012

Dylan Burkhardt

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Michigan’s senior night loss to Purdue was disappointing because it was a significant blow to the Wolverines’ Big Ten championship hopes but what sort of damage did it do to their NCAA tournament resume?

Most bracketologists haven’t dropped Michigan too far down the S-curve with many leaving the Wolverines clinging to the back end of the 3-seed line where they sat last week at this time.

After the jump find an in-depth look at Michigan’s resume, a roundup of what notable bracketologists are saying about the Wolverines, a look at the Big Ten’s NCAA tournament worthy teams and more.

Nitty Gritty

  • Record: 20-8 (11-5 Big Ten) [All records are Division 1 Only]
  • RPI: 14
  • SOS: 8
  • Home Record: 14-1
  • Away Record: 3-6
  • Neutral Record: 2-1
  • vs. RPI Top 50: 9-6
  • vs. RPI Top 100: 11-7

Bracketology Rundown:

Around the Big Ten

We’ll also keep a close eye on the rest of the Big Ten and let you know who’s in, who should be in, who could be on the bubble and which games this week have the biggest tournament implications. With five teams in the Top 25 and five teams with 20 or more wins, the Big Ten still remains arguably the best conference in the country. If the season ended today, the Big Ten would likely put seven teams into the Big Dance.


  • Michigan State (23-5 overall, 13-3 Big Ten): The Spartans locked up at least a share of the Big Ten title and continue to put their best foot forward in attempts to earn a No. 1 seed in March. Beat Indiana and Ohio State this week and avoid an early loss in Indianapolis and that might be enough.
  • Ohio State (23-6, 11-5): The home loss to Wisconsin could have cost the Buckeyes a No. 2 seed but they still have plenty of opportunity to impress with a game at Michigan State and the Big Ten Tournament.
  • Michigan (20-8, 11-5): What happens to Michigan’s seeding after the home loss to Purdue? The Wolverines appear to be steady for now – clinging to a No. 3 seed.
  • Wisconsin (21-8, 10-6): Wisconsin was written off for most of the year but the Badgers could still end up tied for second in the Big Ten when all is said and done.
  • Indiana (22-7, 9-7): The Hoosiers are a lock. Nobody has the quality wins to match Kentucky and Ohio State and almost every bracketologist has the Hoosiers as a protected seed.

Should be in

  • Purdue (19-10, 9-7): A 2-0 week, including a quality road win at Michigan, should be enough to earn Purdue an NCAA tournament bid. Purdue has a couple of bad losses but more than enough quality wins to make the tournament with at least a .500 conference record.

Bubble in

  • Northwestern (17-11, 7-9): Northwestern would probably be one of the last two teams into the tournament if the field was selected today. However, to have any confidence on Selection Sunday the Wildcats would be advised to win out – that means beating Ohio State at home and winning at Iowa.


  • Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota won’t make the NCAA tournament without winning the Big Ten Tournament next. Iowa has an RPI well over 100 and just lost at Illinois while Minnesota and Illinois are both well below .500 and has disintegrated down the stretch. The Big Ten will top out at seven bids this year, barring a collection of major upsets in Indianapolis.

Big Ten Game with NCAA Tournament Implications

  • Ohio State at Northwestern, Wednesday at 8:30 PM
    Here’s your chance Northwestern. Beat Ohio State at home and you can prove to the world that you deserve to finally participate in the NCAA tournament. The Wildcats have had plenty of opportunities for quality wins but are still just 2-9 against RPI top 50 foes. Wins over Michigan State and Ohio State just might carry enough weight on Selection Sunday.

Bracket Debate

And to top things off, we’ll take a look at one national game or storyline from the week before that could have a dramatic impact on the NCAA Tournament picture.

Forget the debates, you need a rooting guide for the final week of the regular season. Michigan doesn’t have to worry about auto-bids and bubble teams but there’s no harm in rooting against the teams around Michigan’s seed line on the S-curve.

  • Ohio State: Wed. at Northwestern, Sun. at Michigan State
  • Missouri: Wed. vs. Iowa state, Sat. at Texas Tech
  • Georgetown: Beat Notre Dame on Mon., Sat. at Marquette
  • Baylor: Beat Texas Tech on Mon., Sat. at Iowa State
  • Marquette: Wed. at Cincinnati, Sat. vs. Georgetown
  • UNLV: Wed. at Colorado st., Sat. vs. Wyoming.
  • Louisville: Wed. vs. South Florida, Sat. at Syracuse
  • Wichita St.: MVC Conference Tournament Mar. 2nd-4th.
  • Indiana: Tues. vs. Michigan State (for NCAA seeding a loss helps the Wolverines but it would also end any shot at a shared regular season crown), Sat vs. Purdue
  • Temple: Wed. vs. UMass, Sat. at Fordham
  • Wisconsin:Tues. vs. Minnesota, Sun. vs. Illinois

Michigan still controls most of its own destiny with respect to NCAA tournament seeding. The Wolverines should hold onto a very good, protected seed by taking care of business with two winnable but tricky road games and winning at least one game in the Big Ten tournament. However, other schools will inevitably make conference tournament runs and end their seasons so Michigan’s best bet to earn a nice spot on the bracket is to finish strong over the next two weeks.

  • Charlie Dycus

    I hope Michigan does end up in Nashville after all so I can catch them
    again. I made the trip to AA for the Purdue game and need to get that
    taste out of my mouth. 

  • ColinNer

    I am surprised Drexel projects to be a 14 seed. They received a significant amount of votes in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today Polls. I would think that they would be at least a 12 seed

    • Mith

      Me too.  They’re on the edge of the at-large discussion, I would think that get them at least a 13 or 12.

    • SamGoBlue

       Couldn’t agree more. Seeing Drexel in the first round would give me an unwanted scare.

  • jemblue

    And we’re still alive in the Big Ten race!  I think it just may happen.  It just feels like it might be destiny.

    • Billiam

      WTF Indiana!  You gave us Novak, Dougless, McGary, and now a chance to tie for the B1G ten?! When do we get your daughter?

      • gpsimms

        And gr3 and irvin and hatch

  • Jengoblue

    Unrelated, but I know that people wanted to see the Corey and Tim pump up video from the Ohio game: