isportsweb Senior Editor
If the Selection Committee was deciding today Michigan would absolutely be in the NCAA Tournament. Why? That is easy to answer, just examine their resume. The Michigan Tech game does not count here because they are not a Divison 1 team.
Record: 18-12, 9-9
Key wins: UCLA (neutral court), Duke, Illinois, Purdue, and Sweep of Minnesota
Last 10: 5-5
Wins vs. RPI Top 100: 10
Wins vs. RPI Top 50: 6
That is the resume of an NCAA Tournament team. The only catch is the committee doesn’t decide until Sunday. So Michigan has the Big Ten Tournament left. We know they have a Thursday match up with Iowa. If they win that game they are in. If they lose they are back on the bubble and will sweat out the weekend. It really is as simple as that.
I will explain in greater detail why Michigan is in. Time and time again I have heard the Selection Committee say how they reward teams for playing tough schedules. The other things they usually talk about when explaining who was in and who was left out are; the complete body of work, record in the last 10, key wins. Michigan is in a good position in all of those categories.
Currently ESPN has Michigan projected in as an 11 seed, CBS has Michigan projected in as a 10 seed. In fact Michigan is not even considered a bubble team by ESPN or CBS.
What besides a loss to Iowa could hurt their chances? Unless they win the BTT they will have 13 loses. Besides that I don’t see any other negative on their resume. Finishing 7th in a loaded Big Ten is not a bad thing.
This brings us to the Iowa game. There are a couple of important factors regarding that game. First Michigan has a chance to avenge the Iowa City Debacle. Second, this game is being played on a neutral court. They have already proven they can beat anybody at home. They have struggled on the road, but not been blown out. On a neutral court they can beat anybody. Beating Iowa on Thursday will seal their long awaited NCAA bid.
I admit that I tend to be optimistic with my projections. However, this projection is based on indisputable facts.