Around this time of year we like to yield the soapbox to representatives of bubble teams and give them the opportunity to explain to the hooping nation why their team should be granted admission into the NCAA Tournament. We encourage them to be as irrational and nonpartisan as they want. As always, feel free to tell us how you think they did in the comments section. If you’d like to make the case for your school, send us an e-mail at JStevRTC@gmail.com and we’ll hear your preliminary arguments.
Joe Stapleton of The Michigan Daily now makes the case for the Michigan Wolverines.
So, this is an interesting place we Wolverines find ourselves. In January, Michigan lost to Minnesota at home — badly — after dropping two ugly road losses in a row against Indiana and Northwestern. It appeared the team was dead in the water. It seemed this season would go how the majority of Wolverine nation thought it would from the beginning, given the team’s youth and inexperience: not very well. The idea that they would win their next game — Michigan State in East Lansing — was laughable.
Then they did it. They downed the Spartans and absolutely took off. After beating Michigan State at the Breslin Center, the Wolverines won eight of their last 11 games (their only losses being at Ohio State, at Illinois and Wisconsin at home) to enter the Big Ten Tournament as one of the hottest teams in the field.
And as it stands now, the Big Ten Tournament appears to offer them a golden chance to make the NCAA Tournament field of 68. After poring over projections from Crashing the Dance, Bracketology 101, Joe Lunardi and all the rest, it appears there is a consensus: if Michigan would have lost its first-round game to Illinois, it still would have been 50-50 (bordering on unlikely) that the Wolverines made the Tournament. If they beat the Illini, they’re in. They beat the Illini.