Entering 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.
- 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
- Joe Lunardi/ESPN: 3 seed vs. Montana (Auburn Hills/Los Angeles) — March 12
- Andy Glockner/SI: 2 seed vs. Vermont (Auburn Hills/Washington D.C.) – March 12
- Jerry Palm/CBS: 2 seed vs. Vermont (Auburn Hills/Los Angeles) – March 12
- USA Today: 3 seed vs. Montana (Auburn Hills/Washington D.C.) – March 12
- Crashing the Dance: 3 seed — March 11
- Bracket Matrix: 2 seed — March 11
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.
- 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.