Bracket Watch: March 12th, 2013

Dylan Burkhardt

Indiana 72, Michigan 71-8Entering Sunday’s game against Indiana, it appeared that Michigan might have a shot at playing its way back onto the 1-seed line. After the disappointing late game collapse, the Wolverines have fallen back down the totem poll, hovering somewhere around the two and three seed lines.

Indiana appears to have the No. 1 seed in the Indianapolis region locked up but for the rest of the Big Ten it appears that the Big Ten Tournament in Chicago could be decisive when settling seeding on Sunday.

Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State are all hovering around the 2 and 3-seed lines. The Spartans and Buckeyes are looking at a potential Saturday afternoon quarterfinal match-up while Michigan has a long road ahead to tournament success, opening against Penn State before facing Wisconsin for the chance to play Indiana. With all three teams so close, the team that gets furthest in the Big Ten Tournament could be looking at the most favorable seed or region.

It appears that a 1-seed for the Wolverines is all but out of the question. To stake a legitimate claim at one of the four coveted top spots, Michigan would need to at least win four games in four days in Chicago and then hope for some other top teams to fall down a peg or two. While it’s certainly possible, the odds are long.

Nitty Gritty, Bracketology Roundup and the Big Ten Bubble Report after the jump. Photo: Dustin Johnston.

Nitty Gritty: 

  • Record: 24-6
  • RPI: 12
  • SOS: 35
  • Home: 16-1
  • Away: 5-5
  • Neutral: 3-0
  • vs. RPI Top 50: 8-5
  • vs. RPI Top 100: 10-5

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. The Big Ten is widely considered the nation’s best conference, and so far this conference season teams of all tiers have been solidly beating up on each other.


  • Indiana (26-5 overall, 14-4 Big Ten, 5 RPI): Indiana secured the outright Big Ten title and very likely the No. 1 seed in the Indianapolis region of the NCAA tournament.
  • Michigan (24-6 overall, 12-6 Big Ten, 12 RPI): Michigan is the 5th seed in its own conference tournament but is still in line for a 2 or 3 seed in the Big Dance. Still, the Wolverines would be advised to put forth a strong effort in Chicago as a couple of wins could certainly shore up their resume.
  • Michigan State (23-7 overall, 13-5 Big Ten, 8 RPI): Michigan State sits right in the thick of the “next tier” Big Ten debate after Indiana. Could Big Ten Tournament performance be the differentiator? Saturday’s potential match-up between the Buckeyes and Spartans could be must see TV.
  • Ohio State (23-7 overall, 13-5 Big Ten, 14 RPI): It seems like just two weeks ago that bracketologists were shouting that the Buckeyes had one of the most overrated resumes in the country. But the Buckeyes closed the season on a five game win streak including a win at Indiana, now Joe Lunardi has Ohio State as a 2-seed.
  • Wisconsin (21-10 overall, 12-6 Big Ten, 42 RPI): Wisconsin will be an interesting test of the importance of early season games. The Badgers have a non-conference resume that’s just okay but put together an impressive Big Ten season at 12-6. Bracketologist opinions vary widely, Jerry Palm has Wisconsin has a 7-seed while Joe Lunardi has the Badgers as a 4-seed.

Should be in:

  • Minnesota (20-11 overall, 8-10 Big Ten, 24 RPI): Minnesota certainly doesn’t like to make things easy. The Gophers have an impressive collection of wins but lost their last two games to non-tournament teams Nebraska and Purdue.
  • Illinois (20-11 overall, 8-10 Big Ten, 43 RPI): Illinois also enters the Big Ten Tournament on a 2-game losing streak but its last two losses were on the road at Iowa and Ohio State. The Illini should be around the 8-9 range in terms of NCAA seeding and could potentially leap frog Minnesota with a Thursday win in Chicago.

Bubble Out:

  • Iowa (20-11 overall, 9-9 Big Ten, 75 RPI): Could Iowa’s tournament chances live on? The Hawkeyes finished 9-9 in the conference and will probably need to beat Northwestern and Michigan State in Chicago to have a legitimate argument to make the tournament.

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  • blackie6

    I hate that picture of Stauskas and am sick of the post three pt FG antics…. Meanwhile, look where Zeller is in the frame. Not saying Zeller is Nik’s man, but it’s a team game…. He’s more worried about putthing his goggles on after a 3 then playing any sort of defense…. I’m surprised Beilein is still putting up with it quite frankly…..

    Oh well. maybe it’ll take a big mistake for him to learn….

    Act like you’ve been there before maybe?

    FYI, i let people walk on my lawn and am actually not very old either- nope, 35 in fact. But come on, it was fun in 2012 when this surprise sharp shooter was shooting 65% from 3…. But now, it’s just not smart…. and an old bit for that matter.

    • Adam St Patrick

      Spot on! Fun picture, but, yeah.

    • mikey_mac

      His patented spin-back-towards-the-crowd-after-a-sideline-three feels painfully showy and makes it pretty clear he’s taking a personal timeout for those couple seconds — whether or not play is continuing.

    • Erob

      Agreed. I would prefer he didn’t do it if it’s going to delay him from getting back on defense (an area in which he already struggles). I do love his confidence though, as I think it’s part of what makes him such a great shooter.

    • Jeff

      I’m also in agreement. I don’t care for it stylistically, but I also don’t like him adding any fuel to the opposing team’s fire. At one point in the IU game he hit a three and immediately turned to the IU bench right behind him. Maybe he was looking at the Michigan fans, but I’m sure the IU team didn’t appreciate it.

  • Adam St Patrick

    One thing I don’t get — I would have thought that if Michigan wins this upcoming conference tournament it would be a shoo-in for a #1 seed. The team spent most of the year in the top 5 or top 9, and winning that would imply beating two other top teams in 2 days, unless there are upsets. Indiana gets a #1 seed for sure. Gonzaga too, it seems. Duke has a better resume than us. But otherwise, if Michigan wins the Big Ten tournament I don’t see how any other of the #1 candidates have a resume close to ours.

    That said, I think you’re right in saying that winning the conference tourney does not guarantee a #1 see. I don’t understand why, but it just seems to be that way.

    • Mith

      I’d say if Georgetown, Louisville or Kansas wins their conference tournaments, their resume would be just as good or better than ours.

  • Mattski

    Is anyone else not a big fan of the tourneys? I’m with Izzo on this one; and I thought I noted a little bit of ambivalence on Beilein’s part a few weeks ago when he was asked. I suppose a quick exit risks confirming us as a three-seed. And I would like to see PSU demolished. Oh h*ll, I want to see the whole B1^ demolished at this stage–this year has left me with a grudge against just about every coach!

    • Jeff

      Yeah, I’m kind of torn on the Big Ten Tournament. Part of me wants it to be the Michigan Revenge Tournament (PSU, WISC, IU) but a bigger part of me hates the idea of the team playing four straight games right before the tournament, especially considering how many minutes Burke has logged this season.

    • ChocoJoe

      I’m a fan of any college basketball tournament, and the Big Ten tournament is probably my 2nd favorite (behind the NCAA)

  • rlcBlue

    In the making lemonade department, I’m glad we’re on the other side of the BTT bracket from Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota. Those three are the teams with the most to gain from winning a quarterfinal game. We just have to prove we can beat Penn State and Wisconsin and then we’ll see who else is still standing in the semis.