Michigan basketball entered the Big Ten Tournament as a No. 5 seed, which doubled as its projected landing spot for the NCAA Tournament.
Then the Wolverines held off No. 12 seed Iowa in overtime. Then they dispatched Nebraska. After that came their second win this season over Michigan State, this time in the conference tournament semifinals with the Spartans the top seed. And on Sunday, the Wolverines captured their second straight Big Ten Tournament championship with a 75-66 victory over third-seeded Purdue.
The title run capitulated coach John Beilein’s team into the projected top 16 in the NCAA Tournament. Jerry Palm of CBS Sports has Michigan as a No. 4 seed, while ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi tabbed the Wolverines as a No. 3 seed, as of Monday morning.
morning bracket https://t.co/Vqn7NINgZF
— Jerry Palm (@jppalmCBS) March 5, 2018
Behind a historic weekend, the Wolverines are now 28-7, 13th in the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) and ninth in Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted efficiency rankings. They also have six Quadrant 1 wins, which constitutes any win that falls under the following criteria:
- Home win vs. a top 30 RPI team
- Neutral court win vs. a top 50 RPI team
- Road win vs. a top 75 RPI team
Having won nine straight games, the Wolverines will enter the NCAA Tournament as one of the hottest teams in the country.
However, according to at least one analyst, their recent tear does not put them in contention to cut down another set of nets in San Antonio in April. The Wolverines are one of 343 Division I programs that will not win the national championship, ESPN Insider John Gasaway says.
Of the eight teams he lists with NCAA title hopes, two of them are foes Michigan beat in back-to-back days in New York City: Michigan State and Purdue.