Only one game remains in the regular season for the Michigan basketball team, and it will be the team’s most difficult one of the year thus far, traveling to Michigan State. After a strong road win against Maryland, Michigan seems to have solidified itself as a lock to be at least a No. 2 seed, with the possibility of a No. 1 seed still possible with a win over MSU and a Big Ten Tournament title.
Earlier today, ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi released his updated NCAA Tournament bracket, which can be seen below.
In this scenario, Michigan is the No. 2 seed in the West Region, playing Montana in the first round. This has been a popular projection for Lunardi, who has had Michigan playing Montana in nearly all of his projections over the last couple months.
The second round would feature a game against either Louisville or Ole Miss. The Cardinals would be a considerable challenge to face that early in the tournament.
On the plus side for U-M, this region appears to have the weakest top four seeds, and could mean a match-up with LSU or Buffalo in the Sweet 16.
Big bad Gonzaga would likely await in the Elite 8 if favorites all won, before facing Duke or Kentucky in the Final Four. Favorites of course, don’t always win in the big dance, so much could change, but this would be the toughest path Michigan could face in this projection.
Lunardi currently has eight Big Ten teams in his bracket, with Indiana knocking on the door. The Hoosiers likely will be in should they beat Rutgers and win their first game in the Big Ten Tournament. Even just a win over Rutgers could be enough given their high quality wins. Here are the eight currently in:
- No. 2 seed Michigan
- No. 2 seed Michigan State
- No. 3 seed Purdue
- No. 4 seed Wisconsin
- No. 5 seed Maryland
- No. 9 seed Iowa
- No. 10 seed Minnesota
- No. 11 seed Ohio State