IF you didn’t get a chance to see it, you missed a great one in Ann Arbor! Crisler was rockin’ and the mood was electric. I have said that the hate for Bucky the Badger (in hoops) by Michigan fans is real and it might rival that of Sparty (naw) and the suckeyes (close).
Those who don’t remember history are doomed to repeat it or something like that….Wiscy has thrown more deadly daggers in the hearts of Michigan fans than I care to remember, but last night, no demon named Brust would arise and toss in a half courter... (I can post this now as it's history and I feel good enough to do so after last night's victory!!!)
I LOVED seeing Zak Irvin find his game last night and for a minute I thought he had hit a season high in scoring until I looked it up this AM. Irvin actually scored 20…Against Wiscy in the Kohl Center about a month ago! So maybe it’s a cheesehead thing, but let’s hope he’s turned a corner of some sort and is back on permanent track.
Love #2: Wagner is becoming the inside guy I thought he could be. While his defense is at times unwatchable, on the other end of the court he’s doing things inside and outside that will give other coaches fits as this season continues.
And Walton is the steady rock right now guiding this team…
I recall someone once saying that high scoring teams with great PG play that also shoot free throws well are a team to watch out for come March. Let’s see,
High Scoring – Check!
Point Guard Play – Check!
Team Free Throws - Check!
Add to that but Michigan actually is forcing turnovers on defense!!!
Some will say that Wiscy wasn’t at full strength….well, it’s late February and there’s a lot of teams that are gassing or fighting injury. It’s how you manage it right now, boys and girls. March Madness is right around the corner and the time for excuses is GONE!
The Michigan Resume
Opponent Location Date Day and Time Result
Indiana Home 1-26 Thursday, 9:15 90-60 Blow-Out
Sparty Away 1-29 Sunday, 1:00 70-62 Loss
Suckeyes Home 2-4 Saturday, 6:00 70-66 Loss
Sparty Home 2-7 Tuesday, 9:00 86-57 BLOW-OUT
Indiana Away 2-12 Sunday, 1:00 75-63 SWEEP OF IU!!!!
Wiscy Home 2-16 Thursday, 7:00 64-58 Win
Minnesota Away 2-19 Sunday, 7:00
Rutgers Away 2-22 Wednesday, 6:30
Purdue Home 2-25 Saturday, 4:00
Northwestern Away 3-1 Wednesday, 7:00
Nebraska Away 3-5 Sunday, 8:00
Michigan is 7th overall in the B1G Standings and has a unique opportunity to take over 6th place with a win at Minnesota in Williams Arena on Sunday night. (that’s an EST 7:00 start - 6:00 Local).
That game will probably be a toss –up or have the Gophers slightly favored. Minnesota, by most projections, is solidly in the field of 64 (68 – whatever) but don’t think they don’t want to win this game. Should be a good one….
Some of you texted or e-mailed regarding my take on RPI, BPI and Kenpom stating that the committee has to look at RPI and in particular, Sparty LOSING those big games is what will get Sparty into the field of 64 regardless of their BPI/Kenpom rank. I hear what you’re saying but respectfully disagree. There are at least 5 AT LARGE teams that Lunardi has IN the Bracket with RPI’s worse than Michigan’s…
The Worst: Lunardi has Marquette in as an at large 12 Seed with an RPI of 81.
Marquette Kenpom: 41 Sparty: 50
BPI: 40 Sparty: 54
Here are the lowest RPI teams that were DISSED over the years that didn’t make the field of 64!!!! (From one of my favorite little websites):
The highest rated team left out: #21 Missouri St, #30 Hofstra (2006), #30 Air Force (2007)... among the big six: #40 Cincinnati (2006).
Therefore, Dismissing Sparty as a 41 RPI is not inconceivable….But then there’s this:
Most losses to get an ALB: 14 (Arizona - 2008, five teams in 2011).
Worst record to get an ALB: 18-14 .563 (Arizona - 2008, Michigan St - 2011)
Number of times a team with at least 20 wins has been left out: 215 ... among the big six: 37
So as a Sparty, you can keep saying that the other indices DON’T MATTER, but be careful…They have to make at large slots available somehow and teams with respectable RPI’s with crappy records sometimes get hosed…If Sparty wins out, I believe they’re in. Lose a couple, it’ll be Izzo’s charm and Mark Hollis being the 2017 Director of the Selection Committee that will prevail and nothing else.
Of course, someone MAY bring up last season’s 2-15 MTSU Upset victory and ruin Sparty’s day!!!
Lunardi won’t update today, but with the Wiscy win, I would think things would be better for Michigan regarding his forecast. Obviously better than losing that game…Michigan’s RPI is SLOWLY Creeping down as it plays better teams.