It’s been five years since Nik Stauskas led Michigan to its last Big Ten regular season title in 2014. After Sunday’s 77-70 loss to Michigan State, the path to break that drought is shrinking fast.
The Wolverines and Spartans entered Crisler Center tied atop the conference, both sporting 13-3 records. John Beilein’s bunch now trails Tom Izzo’s by a game, not to mention Purdue by a half-game.
While Michigan can exact some revenge in East Lansing in the regular season finale on March 9, the likelihood of even sharing for the championship is slim. Here are the schedules with Ken Pomeroy win probabilities for the Wolverines, Spartans and Boilermakers the rest of the way:
- Feb. 28 against Nebraska (84 percent, 70-59 win)
- March 3 at Maryland (50 percent, 65-64 loss)
- March 9 at MSU (29 percent, 70-64 loss)
- March 2 at Indiana (78 percent, 73-64 win)
- March 5 against Nebraska (90 percent, 77-64 win)
- March 9 against Michigan (71 percent, 70-64 win)
- Feb. 27 against Illinois (89 percent, 82-68 win)
- March 2 against Ohio State (80 percent, 72-63 win)
- March 5 at Minnesota (65 percent, 74-70 win)
- March 9 at Northwestern (72 percent, 71-64 win)
In order for the Wolverines to have a chance, they have to win out. With the two tough road games at College Park and East Lansing, they currently have just a 12 percent chance of doing so (according to the Kenpom percentages).
Meanwhile, MSU holds a healthy 49 percent chance of sweeping its last three contests. Matt Painter’s crew in West Lafayette control their own destiny for a co-championship. They have a 33 percent chance of winning their last four games, which would force a tie at worst.
Basically, if Michigan tops its final three opponents, there’s a one-in-three chance it ties for Big Ten title, as Purdue needs to drop one game to draw even.
Let the final push to March Madness begin.