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Wednesday, January 20, 2016


We don't make a lot of predictions on this web site, but we made a call on Michigan Men's Basketball to finish the regular season on "The Bubble", with a 10-8 record heading into the conference tournament in March. To make this prediction, we categorized the B1G into three groups of teams, as described in this article from December. The general idea was that UM will win all of their games against the bottom group of teams, lose all of their games against the top group of teams, and split their games against teams in the middle group.

The Wolverines took a one-game lead over our prediction when they beat Maryland last week. That win would keep John Beilein just inside "The Bubble" if all of the other games play out as predicted.

Most of the league schedule remains to be played, but Michigan starts a VERY EASY STRETCH of their schedule tonight, and may put together a small winning streak before hosting Michigan State in early February. Their next four games for UM are all against teams that we identified in the "bottom group" of the league:

  • Minnesota (1-20)
  • Nebraska (1-23)
  • Rutgers (1-27)
  • Penn State (1-30)

The Wolverines could win all four games and it wouldn't change a thing about our prediction, because those are the teams we assumed UM would defeat. But if they win all four, they will improve their season record to 17-5, and would likely be very near the top of the league standings. This would lead to headlines and storylines such as:

  • "Wolverines Find Their Groove"
  • "Michigan Makes a Run"
  • "Beilein Has Team Clicking"
  • "UM Makes Bid For League Title"
  • ETC, ETC, ETC.

The basketball schedule is somewhat "back-loaded"
for Michigan, with five home games in the front-nine,
and five road-games in the back-nine.

They play two of the top-three teams in the first half
of their league schedule, but three more in the second half.

There is only one "bottom group" opponent
in the last nine games for UM.

Keep this in mind as the yellow-shorts "make their move" the next two weeks. The truth is that Michigan had better win the next four games if they want to make the Big Dance, as the home-stretch will be a rough road for the Wolverines.

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