And then there were sixteen...
Three teams remain from the Big Ten conference respectively and all three look like a tough out. This group from top to bottom is big boy basketball that have a decent chance of winning two games and making it to the Final Four.
We have seen close games so far with a lot of chalk and not many upsets, yet. Teams like Duke and Kentucky have looked vulnerable and it won’t be easy for any team to make it to Minneapolis.
For Michigan, this is familiar territory with five appearances in the Sweet Sixteen in the last seven years. They will face Texas Tech on Thursday to showcase the two best defenses in the country.
Several outlets released their projections and rankings after the opening weekend, so we thought it would be nice to wrap it all up in one place for you.
First up, our mothership. SB Nation released their breakdown of the remaining teams and their chances of winning it all. A few notes:
- Michigan came in at No. 6 ahead of Kentucky.
- Michigan State at No. 8
- Purdue at No. 14.
Full list, here.
Here’s their explanation of how the Wolverines performed so far.
“Michigan has looked great through two games, blowing out Montana in its opener and winning comfortably against a surging Florida team in the Round of 32. It’s been no surprise that defense carried the Wolverines into the Sweet 16. After years of being labeled as an offensive coach, John Beilein and assistant Luke Yaklich have turned Big Blue into a defensive powerhouse.”
What can they do in order to keep this streak alive? “What does Michigan need to do to make it past Houston and continue its tournament run? Get hot from three-point range. The Wolverines are only 12-of-38 (31.5 percent) from behind the arc. It will be on Jordan Poole and Ignas Brazdeikis to make it happen.”
Former MnB editor, Drew Hallett, posted this showing the path for both teams from the mitten.
KenPom Ranks of Opponents for Potential Path to the Final Four:— Drew Hallett (@DrewCHallett) March 25, 2019
Michigan: 135, 25, 8, 2/14
MSU: 159, 45, 18, 4/11
The latest power rankings from Andy Katz had Michigan at No. 10 behind Texas Tech, Michigan State and Purdue.
#Sweet16 Power Rankings from @TheAndyKatz!— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 25, 2019
1. North Carolina
7. Florida State
8. Michigan State
9. Texas Tech
15. Virginia Tech
16. Oregon#MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/qdtr96YsQT
ESPN did their own ranking and here’s what they came up with.
It seems Michigan is somewhere currently within the top-10 overall for rankings and projections. We will find out Thursday when Michigan faces off with Texas Tech at 9:39pm ET.
Comments? Where would you rank Michigan and put them for chances to win it all based on their path?