Michigan Basketball: Hope is still alive


Just when we thought we were out, the Purdue game comes around to suck the us Michigan fans back in, once again. Our hopes that Michigan might make the NCAA tournament are lit once again. After the Iowa loss, a lot of Michigan fans stuck the fork into this basketball team and declared, “It’s done,” Michigan would not have a chance to get into the “Big Dance,” (for the third or fourth time this season). This team seems to always surprise people. When they need a win they find a way to up their level of play, but, of course, on the other hand, when you think they will win (Iowa) they somehow do not come ready to play.

Since there is hope once again for this team what should we expect playing at Wisconsin and at Minnesota? Honestly, who knows anymore with this team? Especially on the road. Will they come out with the effort like they have against Illinois, Duke, UCLA, Purdue and even UConn or will they bring the first Wisconsin game, the second Iowa game, and the two Ohio State games effort?

Will that Iowa loss be the one that hurts Michigan’s chances of getting in or was that the spark to get this team headed in the right direction? Time will tell. We have been on a rollercoaster ride this year with this team. The loss to Iowa hurt because Michigan would have been in 4th place by themselves right now. Instead there is a battle for the 4th through 8th positions in the Big Ten conference is getting interesting with all those teams either 8-7 or 8-8 right now.

One thing to keep in mind. Several teams have some key match-ups that Michigan fans will want to keep an eye on:

2/28 Indiana at Penn State … Go Indiana
2/28 Ohio State at Purdue … Go Purdue.
3/1 Michigan at Wisconsin … Go Blue.
3/3 Ohio State at Iowa … Go Iowa.
3/4 Wisconsin at Minnesota … Push … depends on what we do against Wisconsin.
3/5 Illinois at Penn State … Go Illinois.
3/7 Michigan at Minnesota … Go Blue.
3/7 Penn State at Iowa … Go Iowa.
3/8 Northwestern at Ohio State … Go Northwestern.
3/8 Indiana at Wisconsin … Go Indiana.

In addition, depending on how the mess in the middle finishes up at the end of the season. The first Big Ten tournament games could be huge regarding who might get in and who might be left off the Big Dance.

I am not sure how many teams from the Big Ten will get into the Big Dance, but I believe when all is said and done, unless there are several mid-majors upsets in the conference tournaments this year , the Big Ten will at least get that 7th team in this year. Who knows, maybe they get that 8th one in as well this year. You have to think right now that 6 teams are safe right now.

Minnesota still has to play Wisconsin, as well as those several key games that I pointed out above.

We are battling several teams, but one that we are competing with for a tournament spot is team Minnesota. Minnesota has to face Wisconsin and Michigan yet. Another thing to point out about the selection committeeis that they look at everything, especially what a team has done in the last 10 games, so that could swing into Michigan’s favor, since Minnesota has been slumping lately.

The easy thing to do is to win out the remaining games, then fans would know Michigan would be in the NCAA tournament, but as we followed this team this year we all know they do not like to do things the easy way.

All those games throughout the year and it boils down to the last two games. Nothing like testing the patience of the fans.

The Big Ten tournament could be huge, especially if this logjam continues from 4th through 8th position. Michigan needs to win that first game to help their chances. The battle for the first day bye will be another thing to look for since this is a four-day tournament.

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Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine