The Michigan Bubble

Haven't had to do this for a few years as Michigan has been safely on the right side of the cut line these last few outings. But this year is shaping up to be an extremely interesting one so figured I'd start it early that way everyone can track their progress and hopeful tournament bid. First off is the resume.

Michigan’s Resume:

Quadrant 1

Quadrant 2

Quadrant 3

Quadrant 4





Now there are a few huge details that we can learn immediately from this table. The first is that, that win over Indiana was HUGE. Yes Indiana may not be a "great" team this year, but it did one huge thing that Michigan’s resume needed. It gave the Wolverine’s a Quad 1 win. The other stand out point and the thing that really has helped keep Michigan’s NET ranking (see below) bolstered is the lack of bad losses. That is of course until Rutgers lost a few B1G games on the road and Minnesota hasn’t kept the same form of the early season. These two give Michigan 2 "bad losses" in terms of a Quad 3 defeat. For reference here is the breakdown of how Quad wins and losses are decided with all numbers being based off the NET Rankings:

Quadrant 1: Home 1-30, Neutral 1-50, Away 1-75

Quadrant 2: Home 31-75, Neutral 51-100, Away 76-135

Quadrant 3: Home 76-160, Neutral 101-200, Away 135-240

Quadrant 4: Home 161-353, Neutral 201-353, Away 241-353

With that given here are Michigan, Minnesota, and Rutgers’ NET ranking:

Michigan NET 38

Minnesota NET 79

Rutgers NET 107

So again two things to take away here. One Michigan’s NCAA chances aren’t as bad as one would at first think. They have a very nice resume of no "real" bad losses and now two true road wins which goes a long way come selection Sunday. The second takeaway is how close that Minnesota and Rutgers loss is to a Quad 2 loss. One a home game needing the Golden Gophers to reach 75 and one a road game needing the Scarlet Knights to hit that 100 NET mark. If each of these teams do this, then Michigan’s resume would be a "No Bad Losses" resume.

Now I’m not going to go down all of Michigan’s wins/losses and potential games for gaining ground but I will touch on a few and leave this link to the NET rankings if you want to dive into it further.

With that covered, here are two potential dangerous teams that could retroactively hurt Michigan:

Seton Hall NET 29 - currently Quad 1 loss easily becomes Quad 2 loss

UCF NET 78 - currently Quad 2 loss but they play in a bad conference full of bad losses that could tank their NET ranking.

Finally, the question we will always ask upon closing out this article. Where does Michigan stand compared to other bubble teams for making the tournament?

Well the Bracketologist haven’t revealed their updates yet, but here are four consensus bubble teams and three others to keep in mind:

Texas A&M NET 61 - Quad 1 0-4, Quad 2 2-0, Quad 3&4 12-0

Florida NET 34 - Quad 1 1-4, Quad 2 3-1, Quad 3 2-0, Quad 4 6-1

Arkansas NET 53 - Quad 1 1-3, Quad 2 3-0, Quad 3 2-2, Quad 4 8-0

Florida State NET 58 - Quad 1 2-3, Quad 2 3-0, Quad 3 4-2, Quad 4 4-0


Minnesota NET 79 - Quad 1 2-5, Quad 2 0-0, Quad 3 4-0, Quad 4 5-0

Virginia Tech NET 56 - Quad 1 0-3, Quad 2 5-3, Quad 3 0-2, Quad 4 5-0

UCF NET 78 - Quad 11-2, Quad 2 3-1, Quad 3 2-2, Quad 4 6-0

The first four teams being the ones most agree are in or last four out. The next three being fringe teams from various bracketologist. So my first thought when I look at this is that Michigan’s resume stacks up nicely against basically any of these teams. My next thought is that Michigan has two losses to fringe teams also fighting to get into the discussion for the Big Dance.

The main variable that needs to be considered this year is, of how much importance the Committee will give to NET rankings. Because of the numerous pauses from teams last season the Committee determined that they wouldn’t weigh NET rankings as high because of inconsistencies between various teams' schedules. Now they haven’t come out and said anything like this yet, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if they took the same action this year. This becomes important for Michigan because if you look at their NET they are almost definitely a tournament team. But if you look at the bigger picture most people would say they still have work to do to even be securely on the bubble let alone in the tournament.

Takeaway time:

Michigan NEEDS Rutgers and Minnesota to play just a hair better. Michigan HAS a beautiful resume and just needs to add a few more wins while not taking any "bad" losses (Quad 3/4). Michigan ISN’T as far off from being in the picture as their record would make you believe at first glance. The point is there is optimism to be had!

Hope you enjoyed the breakdown and I will plan on updating the state of things every few weeks.

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