The Michigan basketball program will be up against it when it comes to making the NCAA Tournament this year.
At 15-12 on the season and 9-8 in Big Ten play, the Michigan basketball program needs to start playing its best basketball of the year if the Wolverines want to make the NCAA Tournament.
In Joe Lunardi’s latest Bracketology update for ESPN, he has the Wolverines as one of the last four byes into the NCAA Tournament along with fellow Big Ten foe Rutgers, TCU and North Carolina. This does not account for the Wolverines’ tough home loss to No. 15 Illinois on Sunday. They have three more games left in Big Ten play before the conference tournament arrives.
Do the Wolverines have what it takes to punch their ticket into the big dance this year?
UPDATE 3/14: With Richmond and Virginia Tech stealing at-large bids by winning the A10 and ACC Tournaments, respectively, Michigan may see their bubble burst and miss the NCAA Tournament.
Michigan basketball: Will the Wolverines make the NCAA Tournament?
The good news for the Wolverines is their three games left on the Big Ten slate are all against conference foes ahead of them in the standings. Those games are home vs. Michigan State on Tuesday, home vs. No. 25 Iowa on Thursday night and at No. 22 Ohio State on Sunday afternoon. While two of those dates are at home, those final three conference games are very daunting.
Even if Michigan wins two of those three, the Wolverines will probably need to rattle off a few wins as well in the Big Ten Conference Tournament to get in as an at-large team. With head coach Juwan Howard suspended for the rest of the regular season, the Wolverines will have to rally around top assistant Phil Martelli to make what looks to be an improbable run into the NCAA Tournament.
The odds are against Michigan making the NCAA Tournament this year.
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