Michigan basketball has been on a roll of late and after winning five of six games, including a win over Indiana Sunday, the Wolverines are trending up.
It seems crazy that about a month ago, there was serious doubt about whether or not Michigan basketball would make the NCAA tournament.
Now, after the Wolverines have won five of six games and have evened their record in Big Ten play to 7-7, they are off the bubble. I wouldn’t say Michigan basketball has locked up a berth, but with six games to go, they are certainly in a strong position to do so.
CBS put out its latest projection by Jerry Palm on Sunday and he had Michigan basketball as a No. 6 seed. In that bracket, the Wolverines would face 11th-seeded Virginia.
It might seem like a big leap for a team that was among the last four in not that long ago. But since the defense started to figure things out and once Isaiah Livers returned from injury, Michigan has looked like one of the best teams in the conference and the country.
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Reflecting that, Michigan made a nice jump in the ESPN projection too, moving up a No 7 seed. The Wolverines have also beaten six teams currently in the ESPN bracket. It was seven but Indiana was pushed to the last four out following its loss to Michigan basketball Sunday.
Of course, there is still work to be done and things get really tough this week for the Wolverines with road games at Rutgers Wednesday, then at Purdue Saturday.
In fact, Michigan gets four of the final six games on the road. U-M will host Wisconsin and Nebraska, while also traveling to Rutgers, Purdue, Ohio State and Maryland.
Each of those road games is highly difficult and to be honest, the Wolverines would do well to go 3-3 in that stretch, which would put them at 10-10 in conference play.
Certainly, after beating Rutgers and Purdue, those games are winnable and with the way Michigan has played lately, there is no reason to think it can’t win at Ohio State or even Maryland.
But as of right now, the best true road win was against Northwestern, although Michigan has impressive neutral-court wins over Gonzaga and Rutgers.
The good news is that with the strength of the Big Ten and the strength of Michigan’s resume, it probably only needs two wins in the last six to seal a bid. The next chance is tomorrow night.