Michigan closes out the regular season with two extremely difficult road games, heading to Maryland this Sunday and Michigan State on March 9th. Those games will give the Wolverines the opportunity to jump to a one seed, or fall to a three seed. It’s nearly impossible to picture U-M as anything but a top three seed once the NCAA Tournament brackets are announced in mid-March.
Earlier today, ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi released his updated NCAA Tournament bracket, which can be seen below.
In this hypothetical scenario, Lunardi has Michigan as the No. 2 seed in the West Region, with Gonzaga, Kansas and LSU the other top four seeds. It’s the weakest top four seeds of any region, which would bode well for Michigan.
Montana seems to be a popular pick for a first round opponent, again. The Grizzlies gave Michigan a run for its money last year before U-M closed it out. In the second round, Michigan could face either Wofford or Oklahoma. Wofford could be an underrated 7 seed. Currently ranked No. 24, Wofford is 25-4 overall and 17-0 in conference play.
Kansas and Villanova are the top seeds possible in the Sweet 16. As you well know, Michigan trounced Villanova earlier in the year, and while Kansas is a formidable name, it’s been a down year by Jayhawk standards.
Gonzaga, the region’s top seed, could be the toughest challenge of the bracket - understandably. Its path isn’t overly difficult, with LSU and Florida State the top teams it would face. In the Final Four, a fantastic meeting with either Duke or Michigan State could be in the cards.
The Big Ten has eight teams currently in Lunardi’s field:
- No. 2 seed Michigan State
- No. 2 seed Michigan
- No. 3 seed Purdue
- No. 4 seed Wisconsin
- No. 5 seed Maryland
- No. 7 seed Iowa
- No. 9 seed Ohio State
- No. 11 seed Minnesota