Life at the Buzzer!
Well not sure how much more dramatic it can be than for your 7’1" center to launch a 3 at the buzzer in order to save a team's tournament hopes, but that is where we Michigan fans currently reside this season it seems. Add to it a week that some how got worse, despite a Quad 1 road win, as it went on with how other teams around the country performed, and we arrived on Sunday where not only was Dickinson’s 3 needed but then a 19 point comeback by Rutgers was very much appreciated.
That 6-1 in Quad 2 is an amazing little number. It is the type of record that lets a team get away with a 3-10 Quad 1 record and still make the tournament. However, it is also one where even slight blemishes, let’s say a home loss to Wisconsin, would destroy any credibility. There is no way to understate the importance of that win on Sunday. As for Pittsburgh, well they continued to win and in fact won convincingly but still dropped a few spots taking away an extra Q1 victory. MSU really did us no favors by letting the win at Iowa slip away. If they take that one by 10+ points, they likely jump to NET 30 and also push Iowa perhaps lower than Pittsburgh. Really the week as a whole until Rutgers comeback late Sunday was of little help for Michigan. In the end Michigan was able to go from NET 65 all the way up to NET 55.
I’ll quickly put up the conference team list which lost a lot of hopefuls this week, but also added strength to many of the contenders case. As of now though there are 39 teams "safely in" with 9 of those hopefully CT champs. That leaves 6 bubble spots with 14 teams "looking bubbly" only 2 of which could be unique CT champs:
What this table shows is that we need to find Michigan’s place in this thing and with two road games it would be ideal to do so without needing a victory. Unfortunately that seems difficult, but let’s try and make that case. So Michigan finishes 0-2 what does the bubble look like?
Teams ahead of Michigan on the S-Curve if they also went 0-2 in their remaining games:
USC - @Arizona, vs ASU
Pitt - @ND @Miami
Pretty much a coin flip if 0-2:
WVU - @ISU @K State
Ok State - vsBU @Tx Tech
BSU - vsSDSU @Utah State
ASU - @UCLA @USC
Michigan would stay ahead if 0-2:
Memphis - @SMU vsHouston
UNC - @FSU vs Duke
Clemson - @UVA vs ND
Tx Tech - @KU vsOk State
Wisc - vsPU @Minn
PSU - @NW vsMD
Nevada - @Wyo vsUNLV
Utah St - @UNLV vsBSU
Ms St - vsSoCar @Vandy
Again our bubble has 6 spots and in the coin flip section there are 4 teams. So even with an 0-2 week Michigan could make the tournament, but it would definitely take quite a few other breaks going our way.
Let’s move on to a 1-1 week from Michigan. This time we will phrase it a bit differently. How does Michigan stay ahead on the S-Curve?:
USC - @Arizona, vs ASU; Michigan won’t. Doesn’t matter if USC goes 0-2
Pitt - @ND @Miami; An 0-2 week. Any other combination will keep Pitt ahead
WVU - @ISU @K State; An 0-2 week
Ok State - vsBU @Tx Tech; An 0-2 week
BSU - vsSDSU @Utah State; An 0-2 week
ASU - @UCLA @USC; An 0-2 week
Nevada - @Wyo vsUNLV; An 0-2 week
Ms St - vsSoCar @Vandy; An 0-2 week
Tx Tech - @KU vsOk State; lose to KU
Wisc - vsPU @Minn; lose to Purdue
Memphis - @SMU vsHouston; lose to Houston
PSU - @NW vsMD; Any loss
UNC - @FSU vs Duke; Any loss
Clemson - @UVA vs ND; Any loss
Utah St - @UNLV vsBSU; Can’t pass even at 2-0
So what should immediately jump off the page is how little changed from Michigan going 0-2 to 1-1. This is where the strength of the bubble and last week's games come into play. Unless Michigan goes 2-0 this week we really just need to see some other teams not pick up massive wins. Also Michigan still doesn’t have a signature win. There are a few teams this season that count towards marquee wins. Michigan’s current best win is either at home vs Maryland or on the road at Rutgers. Beating IU at Indiana will fall into the signature win category while at Illinois will not.
Suffice to say that Michigan is in a strange place where they are dependent on help and a few breaks happening across the nation. They control their own destiny in the sense that a 2-0 week will almost assuredly get them into the tournament while a 1-1 week will still be cutting it close and in need of help from other teams not picking up massive wins. Here’s the schedule:
Not much to highlight here. A 2-0 week is a guaranteed ticket to the Dance. Everything else we have talked about above.
As for impact games well I’ve pretty much laid them out, but for looks let’s do so in our table. I’ll include most games listed above from this week and weekend. The team to root for is in bold:
I left a few off this box from our list above because the first game would greatly impact the second game. Pittsburgh for instance we either want to go 2-0 or 0-2. If they lose to Notre Dame then they might as well lose to Miami. Utah State loses to UNLV then we would want them to beat BSU. If Texas Tech lost to Kansas then let’s have them beat Oklahoma State. All in all this week is a bit chaotic with possibilities. Outside of a 2-0 performance from Michigan things are going to be dicey.
As always, for reference on how Quad Wins and Losses work:
- 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