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Wednesday rooting guide: Helping Michigan break into the field

A quest for bursting bubbles.

NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at Penn State Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

The goal of this post is simple: highlight every game of relevance for the Michigan Wolverines as they try to get back on the right side of the bubble. This is not the place for a ton of analysis, but something to keep open as you sit down and watch some basketball every night.

Perhaps this weekend I will take a closer look at Big Ten Tournament implications when the standings become more clear, and also at the conclusions of some of the smaller conference tournaments that are wrapping up to watch for bid thieves. But for now, the scope of these posts will be 10- and 11-seeds on Bracket Matrix, plus the other at-larges that are currently out.

All win percentages are from Torvik.

No. 25 Pittsburgh at Notre Dame

  • 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU
  • Root for: Notre Dame (38%)

This is an interesting one because Michigan could use Pittsburgh jumping into Quad 1 territory (currently 53rd in NET). However, having a team fall down the seed list is more important right now, so rooting for the Irish — as painful as that sounds — is the play here.

Auburn at No. 2 Alabama

  • 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2
  • Root for: Alabama (84%)

Auburn and Pitt are both 10 seeds per Bracket Matrix currently, but could fall with a couple losses down the stretch. A win over rival Alabama, or Tennessee this weekend, is likely enough to secure a bid for the Tigers, but these games could easily end up as two losses.

Penn State at Northwestern

  • 9 p.m. ET, BTN
  • Root for: Northwestern (68%)

There are plenty of Big Ten standings implications in this one as well, but most simply, Penn State is clinging onto the bubble right now. Regardless of outcome there are both pros and cons, but Michigan probably wants to distance itself from the bad loss to Penn State while not fearing Northwestern as much because of conference tiebreakers.

Utah State at UNLV

  • 11 p.m. ET, CBSSN
  • Root for: UNLV (48%)

Right behind Michigan right now is Utah State, who also gets a shot at Boise State this weekend. The Aggies need to drop this one, then definitely drop the regular season finale in order to stay behind the Wolverines.