The Michigan Wolverines fell at the hands of the Purdue Boilermakers in West Lafayette on Saturday. It was an upbeat performance from Hunter Dickinson and company, but it still wasn’t enough to top the No. 4 team in the country on the road.
Tally that to the loss column for the Wolverines, who now sit at 11-9 on the season and are on the precipice of losing out on an NCAA Tournament bid. With only 10 games remaining in the regular season, something has to change fast for this team to earn a tourney bid.
Prior to this weekend’s contests, Joe Lunardi, Jerry Palm, Mike Decourcy and SBNation’s own Chris Dobbertean updated their predictions for the NCAA Tournament and none of them had Michigan in the picture.
Only Chris Dobbertean has the Wolverines even in the conversation, and it is as “The Next Four Out” along with Dayton, Chattanooga and Wake Forest.
How does Michigan get in? Well, it will take some big wins coming down the stretch. Five of the Wolverines’ remaining 10 games are against ranked opponents. They have the potential to rack up some Quad 1 wins in the next few weeks and it could propel them into the conversation. Even Iowa, who the Wolverines play twice, is in each of the expert’s brackets.
Some conference victories would go a long way for Michigan, as the Big Ten has seven teams in each of these experts’ predictions. Let’s take a look at the breakdown:
- Big Ten: Seven teams (Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio State, Michigan State)
- No. 1 seeds: Auburn, Gonzaga, Purdue, Baylor
- Big Ten: Seven teams (Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio State, Purdue)
- No. 1 seeds: Auburn, Gonzaga, Kansas, Baylor
- Big Ten: Seven teams (Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio State, Purdue, Michigan State, Indiana, Iowa)
- No. 1 seeds: Auburn, Wisconsin, Gonzaga, Baylor
- Big Ten: Seven (Ohio State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Purdue)
- No. 1 seeds: Auburn, Gonzaga, Baylor, Arizona
Michigan has eight games left against the seven teams each expert has in their bracket. Perfection in those games is highly unlikely, but it will be what makes or breaks this season.
Right now, the Wolverines are not in the picture and at this point, they have ground to gain to even be a double-digit seed in the tournament. All season long the players and coaches on the staff have talked about turning this season around and playing to their full potential. With 10 games left and plenty of opportunities ahead of them, it is now or never.