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Bracketology: The Wolverine’s win over Purdue puts them back in NCAA Tournament picture

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Michigan’s case got a bit stronger.

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

We are just a few weeks from pure ecstasy for college basketball fans as the NCAA Tournament will begin. The question still remains if the Michigan Wolverines will be a part of March Madness, as they currently sit with a 13-10 record. However, a drubbing of the Purdue Boilermakers at home has put their names back in the spotlight, and experts across the country are moving them closer to being in the field of 68, some even having them as participants.

Let’s take a glance at how the national pundits are viewing the Wolverines with under 10 games to play.

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi: “Next Four Out”

Throughout the broadcast in Saturday’s loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes, the commentators were saying if Michigan had topped the Buckeyes, it would be back in the field of 68 in Joe Lunardi’s bracket. Unfortunately, things did not go the way of the Wolverines in the 68-57 loss, marking Michigan’s 10th loss of the year.

Still, the beatdown of the Boilermakers late last week helped Michigan be a blip on the radar as one of the teams that are Lunardi’s “Next Four Out.” Along with them are Mississippi State, Saint Louis and Belmont. The “First Four Out” include Florida, SDSU, UAB and Memphis.

There are seven Big Ten teams in Lunardi’s bracket with Purdue being the highest as a No. 1 seed. Wisconsin, Michigan State, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois and Ohio State are the other representatives from the conference. Michigan has six games remaining against those teams and a matchup with Rutgers, who also has a case for a tournament bid. There is still ground to make up for the Wolverines moving forward.

CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm: “Last Four In”

Jerry Palm went where Lunardi would not as he put the Wolverines as one of the play-in teams being a No. 12-seed. A matchup with the Miami Hurricanes (18-7) would decide the fate of this Michigan squad in the East Region, with the winner taking on the Shaka Smart-led Marquette Golden Eagles (16-9). The No. 1 seed in the region would be the Kentucky Wildcats and Duke would be the No. 3 seed in what would be a very difficult East Region.

Palm has the exact same seven Big Ten team in his bracket as Lunardi, with the Wolverines thrown into the mix as well. The highest seeds from the conference are the No. 2 seed Wisconsin Badgers and the No. 2 seed Purdue Boilermakers.

SBNaton’s Chris Dobbertean: “Last Four In”

Here is what Dobbertean wrote about the Wolverines:

“Michigan saw its metrics shoot up after Thursday night’s 82-58 thumping of Purdue, which puts the Wolverines back in heading into the weekend.”

The NET rankings saw Michigan rise to No. 30 in the country before falling to Ohio State on Saturday. Now, the Wolverines still sit at a respectable No. 36 ahead of other teams on the bubble like Oklahoma (No. 37), Virginia Tech (No. 39), UAB (No. 41) and Memphis (No. 45).

As the No. 11 seed in the Midwest Region, Michigan would take on Loyola Chicago in a rematch of the Final Four game from a few years back. The winner would go on to play a solid Alabama squad as a No. 6 seed. They would also share a region with No. 5 seed Michigan State and No. 2 seed Wisconsin. But, No. 3 seed Duke would be waiting for Michigan if they made it to the round of 32.

Like Palm, Dobbertean has eight Big Ten squads in the tournament with Rutgers close behind. The Scarlett Knights have an impressive five wins over Quad 1 opponents, but are 2-7 on the road with some embarrassing losses. Michigan starts a massive four-game homestand against Rutgers next week.

Fox Sports’ Mike Decourcy: MIA

There may not be a national pundit who knows the Wolverines better than Mike Decourcy, who also works with the Big Ten Network. He failed to include the Michigan Wolverines in his bracket in any capacity (although, he doesn’t include a “Next Four Out” like Lunardi). He also released this prior to the Wolverines’ win over Purdue on Thursday evening, so there would be less of a plausibility of Michigan earning a spot. We’ll update you with the latest from Mike as time progresses.