Michigan basketball kicked off the week by dropping to No. 7 in both polls after its loss to Iowa. This week, it has the opportunity to pick up two wins with games at Rutgers and versus Wisconsin. Those games, especially the rematch against Wisconsin, will go a long way in putting U-M back on track for a No. 1 seed come March.
Each week leading up to the big dance, we’ll take a look at where ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi has Michigan slotted, and what the potential path for the Wolverines looks like. As we get closer to the tournament itself, we’ll expand to include full projections from other sites to get a complete feel for where Michigan will be headed. But for now, we’ll keep things simple.
Pictured below is the latest full NCAA Tournament bracket projection from Lunardi.
The current projection would feature a series of interesting opponents for Michigan, the No. 2 seed in the South Region, including in the opening round against Montana, who gave the Wolverines a fight in last year’s first round. Kansas State, which made the Elite 8 last season, could be waiting in round two, while No. 3 seed Marquette, the highest-ranked three seed (No. 10 AP/No. 9 coaches) or Iowa, one of the two teams to beat Michigan this year, await U-M in the Sweet 16.
It’d be a challenging slate of games that could have the Wolverines facing No. 1 seed Virginia or No. 4 seed Houston — another opponent from last season’s big dance — in the Elite 8.
The four top seeds are Duke, Virginia, Tennessee and Gonzaga. The other No. 2 seeds are Michigan State, Kentucky and North Carolina.
The Big Ten has nine teams in the projected field, with Nebraska dropping out:
- No. 2 seed Michigan
- No. 2 seed Michigan State
- No. 3 seed Purdue
- No. 5 seed Wisconsin
- No. 6 seed Iowa
- No. 6 seed Maryland
- No. 9 seed Minnesota
- No. 9 seed Ohio State
- No. 11 seed Indiana