Bracket Watch: Selection Sunday

Dylan Burkhardt

Michigan 83, Penn State 66-23
Dustin Johnston

Selection Sunday has finally arrived. There’s no suspense as to whether the Wolverines will be included in the field but recent doubts have begun to creep in as to where Michigan will be seeded and where it will play.

The largest question facing the Wolverines on Selection Sunday is whether they will open the NCAA tournament 30 miles up the road at the Palace of Auburn Hills or will be shipped out to a distant venue for the opening rounds of the NCAA tournament.

Most bracketologists have been consistent in pegging the Wolverines as a No. 3 seed in Auburn Hills but it’s clear that the Wolverines are slipping toward the bottom edge of the 3-seed line and potentially the 4-seed line. The most famous bracketologist, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, had the Wolverines headed to Salt Lake City as a No. 4 seed on Saturday but changed his tune slightly on Sunday. Lunardi still has the Wolverines as a No. 4 seed but has Michigan back to the Palace despite its lower seed.

Starting the tournament in its home state could be critical for a Michigan program that hasn’t reached the Sweet 16 since 1994. Syracuse’s loss to Louisville on Saturday evening could prove critical as the Orange appeared to be one of the primary threats to sneak into the Auburn Hills pod, but nothing is official until the brackets are announced at 6:00 p.m. on CBS.

Find the typical Nitty Gritty and Around the Big Ten sections as well as an expanded rundown of bracket projections and a seeding rooting guide for the rest of today’s action after the jump.

Nitty Gritty:

  • Record: 25-7
  • RPI: 20
  • SOS: 45
  • Home: 16-1
  • Away: 5-5
  • Neutral: 4-1
  • vs. RPI Top 50: 8-6
  • vs. RPI Top 100: 10-6

Bracketology Rundown

  • Joe Lunardi/ESPN: 4 seed vs. Bucknell (Auburn Hills/Los Angeles) — March 17
  • USA Today: 3 seed vs. Valparaiso (Auburn Hills/Los Angeles) – March 17
  • Jerry Palm/CBS: 3 seed vs. Davidson (Auburn Hills/Washington D.C.) – March 17
  • Andy Glockner/SI: 3 seed vs. Montana (Auburn Hills/Washington D.C.) – March 17
  • NBC Sports: 3 seed vs. Northwestern State (Auburn Hills/Los Angeles) – March 17
  • SBNation: 3 seed vs. Harvard (Auburn Hills/Washington D.C.) – March 17
  • Bracketography: 3 seed vs. New Mexico State (Auburn Hills/Indianapolis) – March 16
  • Bracket Matrix: 3 seed — March 17
  • Crashing the Dance: 4 seed – March 17
  • Yahoo!: 4 seed – March 17

Around the Big Ten

Indiana’s loss to Wisconsin and Louisville’s Big East Championship win over Syracuse leaves the door open for Louisville to lay claim to the No. 1 overall seed and the Midwest regional. Indiana getting shipped out of Indianapolis would certainly be a blow to the Hoosiers but it could open the door for another Big Ten team, perhaps Ohio State as a No. 2 seed, to sneak into Indianapolis as well.

Ohio State’s win over Michigan State means the Buckeyes should be the second highest seeded team out of the conference. A win over Wisconsin on Sunday afternoon would all but cement a No. 2 seed while the Spartans appear destined for a No. 3 seed, presumably ahead of the Wolverines.

Wisconsin’s Big Ten Tournament run in Chicago will certainly boost its seeding chances but the question is how high? Wisconsin still has 10 losses and a fairly mediocre non-conference resume to fall back on. Could Wisconsin hurdle Michigan into a No. 3 seed at the Palace of Auburn Hills? It seems unlikely but never say never.

Rooting Guide

Yesterday’s rooting guide didn’t go exactly as planned but perhaps the biggest game of the night was Syracuse-Louisville. Louisville’s second half rally looks like it should be enough to prevent Syracuse from hopping the Wolverines and stealing the Auburn Hills regional.

The key game of interest this afternoon will be the Big Ten Championship with Wisconsin and Ohio State facing off. Michigan fans will hope that the Buckeyes can handle business and prevent the Badgers from rising any further up the S-Curve.

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  • chief

    Lunardi posted his S-Curve on the ESPN show today. Had UM as 13 and KSU at 12.

    But in yesterday’s bracketology he had Kansas St as a 4 in Kansas City and Michigan as a 4 in Salt Lake.

    Can Michigan be a 4 in Auburn Hill?

    • Saw that S-curve as well on the TV Show but waiting for his official bracket.

      In short, the answer is yes. He had Syracuse behind Michigan, so U-M could still be at the Palace with a No. 4 seed.

    • EchoWhiskey

      It looks like Lunardi’s latest is up and he has us at a 4 seed in Auburn Hills.

  • ChocoJoe

    Will only root for Ohio when a championship is on the line for Michigan. Not today, go badgers!

    • Andrew

      Wisconsin is revolting and plays revolting basketball. I feel no shame in rooting against them, regardless of who they play. Other than Ron Mason’s Spartans, who similarly ruined the sport they played, I’m not sure I hate another team more.

      • Adam St Patrick

        No style points in basketball…

  • Kevbow7

    It’s kind of crazy, but I feel more anxious about this selection Sunday than I did when we were on the bubble. Maybe it’s because of heightened expectations. Regardless, I’ve been in knots all week!

  • EchoWhiskey

    I would rather have the 3 seed and no regional advantage than a 4 seed in the Palace and have to match up earlier with a 1 seed. There are no dominant teams this year and I think we can beat anyone if we’ve got it rolling, but the longer we can avoid the top seeds, the better.

    • jemblue

      Have to disagree. I really think we need the home crowd behind us to restore our guys’ confidence. Also, I just happen to have tickets ;).

    • Considering the travel budget… I’d much prefer Auburn Hills :-)

  • Lunardi’s bracket is updated. Michigan is a No. 4 seed but at the Palace.

  • Here’s a useful PDF on how the bracket is put together

  • ZRL

    Any chance St. Louis leaps ahead of us with a win?

  • Wayman Britt

    I don’t care where UM plays, I just want the first opponent to be a team that turns the ball over, likes to run and doesn’t play suffocating defense. That way we can have some transition offense and maybe get a win.

  • jemblue

    Do the Miami (FL) and Florida games matter much for us? Does a loss by either basically solidify our spot?

    • Don’t think either will have a big effect in terms of starting at the Palace. Florida is also on the 3-line probably — but the upper half — so maybe a loss could drop them just a bit.

  • umnyc

    Can’t complain about the latest lunardi prediction. I have no problem with a 4 seed if its at the palace and in the same bracket as Gonzaga.

  • BYOBracketPants

    My controversial prediction, Kentucky makes it into the field over Middle Tennessee! ( Also, who else’s blood pressure is getting fired up watching Wisconsin be the beneficiary of all these ticky-tack fouls?

  • BerggrensElbow

    Here’s a question. If Michigan plays at Auburn Hills will there be Big Ten refs? Cause if so, I say go out west!!