It has been well-established that many of us in this sphere see the Michigan Wolverines as a national title contender given their play so far this season. Now, we find ourselves barreling toward the stretch run of the season and keeping a closer eye on NCAA tournament seeding and region scenarios.
A Reddit user has been simulating the NCAA Tournament based on ESPN’s projected brackets. The latest one not only has Michigan winning the national championship but doing so against a rival.
This latest sim has the Wolverines and Ohio State Buckeyes — who meet this Sunday in Columbus in a top-five showdown — playing for the grand prize of the season. This comes after a matchup with Illinois in the Final Four. An All-Big Ten national title game would give the conference its first national champion since Michigan State in 2000.
The entire NCAA Tournament is set to be played in Indianapolis, so the projected regions or locations do not make as much of a difference this year. Grabbing one of the top seeds gives Michigan a nice advantage in a potential run through the field.
Here is what the path to the national title game looked like in the scenario laid out above:
Round of 64 — 76-69 W vs. (16) Texas State
Round of 32 — 86-69 W vs. (9) UCLA
Sweet Sixteen — 72-68 W vs. (13) Wright State
Elite Eight — 65-56 W vs. (3) Oklahoma
Final Four — 79-72 W vs. (2) Illinois
National Championship — 74-71 vs. (1) Ohio State
Anyone with the time on their hands could simulate the tournament, but few of them might provide a national title game between hated rivals. March is known for the madness that it produces, so this would check almost all of the boxes for drama and intrigue.