Michigan basketball's postseason options are set in stone.
Michigan coach John Beilein said today that, if Michigan doesn't qualify for the NCAA Tournament, Michigan would consider an invitation to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) but not lower tournaments like the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) or CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT):
"If we're worthy of an NIT tournament (bid), that's something I'll always consider as long as I'm the coach at Michigan," [Beilein] said today at his press conference. "But that probably would be it. There's a lot of opportunities to play. This team has played a lot of minutes so it's got to be the right opportunity for us to say 'Okay, let's practice three more days.' Because we've had a lot of practice that guys have done a great job of focusing in on."
With the CBI and CIT not under consideration, Michigan's postseason odds are slim.
With a 13-13 record and no signature wins, Michigan's best shot to qualify for the NCAA Tournament is to win the Big Ten Tournament and earn the Big Ten's auto-bid. The Wolverines maybe could sneak onto the right side of the bubble as an at-large selection if they win the rest of their games before losing in the Big Ten Tournament championship game. But, even then, that might not be enough to impress the selection committee.
The NIT looks like a long shot as well. Though it's no longer a requirement to have a .500 or better record to be eligible for the NIT, no team ever has received an invitation to the NIT with a losing record. Michigan would need to win three of its remaining four regular-season games -- Ohio State, at Maryland, at Northwestern, Rutgers -- to ensure before the Big Ten Tournament that it could not have a losing record. But, according to KenPom, the odds that Michigan will win at least three of its next four games are only 16.5 percent. And, even if Michigan was to do that, there's no guarantee that'd earn Michigan an invitation to the NIT because spaces are limited due to the NIT promising bids to regular-season conference champions that fail to make the NCAA Tournament.
Michigan's best shot to be in the postseason is the CBI or CIT. But, with those off the table, Michigan likely will sit this one out unless a Big Ten Tournament run is made.