Where Do MSU And U-M Basketball Stand Now?
Now that both Michigan State and Michigan basketball have played their weeknight games, let's take a look and see where the Spartans and Wolverines stand as we inch closer to the Big Ten and NCAA Tournaments.
Let's start with MSU.
MICHIGAN STATE (15-9 overall, 7-6 B1G)
The Spartans raced out to a 15-0 lead against Maryland. But they had to hold on to beat the Terrapins 63-58 to get above .500 in the league.
The remaining schedule isn't easy. Ohio State (road), Indiana (home), Iowa (road), and Michigan (road) are no lock wins. But they should beat Minnesota at home and Nebraska on the road. And you know they'll win the home finale against Ohio State.
State's NET ranking is 42 (which is one of the criteria the NCAA Tournament Committee uses to pick the teams). Their strong non-conference schedule is coming in handy right now.
Because of that, if MSU gets to 18-19 wins, they'll be in the NCAA Tournament for the 25th straight time. But they aren't automatically in yet. Still work to do.
MICHIGAN (14-10 overall, 8-5 B1G)
Michigan was left for dead after getting blown out by Penn State on the road. Not many gave them a change at Northwestern, but they crushed the Wildcats to keep their season alive. They then beat Ohio State and Nebraska at home to climb towards the bubble.
Their best non-conference win is Pittsburgh on a neutral court. They were close with Virginia and North Carolina, but couldn't get it done. The home loss to Central Michigan is really damaging. And they gave away the Iowa game on the road. Michigan's NET ranking is 64.
But the two wins over fellow bubble team Northwestern are big. And they have winnable home games against Indiana, Michigan State, and Wisconsin. They'll need to win all of those, and maybe steal one on the road against either Wisconsin or Illinois.
They need to get to 20 wins to be considered, but if they do, Michigan's brand name will come into play, just like it did last year. But they aren't dead yet!