After a rocky season, the Michigan men’s basketball team earned an 11 seed at the NCAA Tournament. The Wolverines will take on No. 6 seed Colorado State on Thursday, kicking off the Round of 64 for the Big Dance. This is how Michigan has faired historically based on its seeding:
Will the Wolverines’ fate fall in line with what the numbers dictate, or will they be able to surpass the accomplishments of similar Michigan teams from the past? The Daily men’s basketball beat predicts the outcome of the first weekend of March Madness:
Jack Kingsley: Lose in Round of 32
I’m picking this because Michigan is going to continue to alternate wins and losses, of course. Not even the absence of graduate guard DeVante’ Jones for at least the Round of 64 can prevent the inevitable. But because I “cover the team,” I’m told I have to give a better reason than that. Colorado State is undersized, and the Wolverines should be able to exploit that even without their starting point guard. However, assuming Tennessee beats Longwood on Thursday, that’s as far as Michigan goes. Tennessee is underseeded as a No. 3 and the SEC Tournament Champions are playing like one of the best teams in the country as of late. Even if Jones returns, the Volunteers’ stifling defense will give the Wolverines trouble all game, sending them home in the Round of 32.
Josh Taubman: Lose in Round of 32
The trend of win/loss has to continue, it’s only fate. But also, I think Michigan bests Colorado State because the Rams have no real size to combat sophomore center Hunter Dickinson. If Dickinson gets going, the Wolverines could have their way offensively, and I think they give Colorado State some looks that they haven’t seen all year in the Mountain West. However, I think the Round of 32 is the end of the line. No. 3 Tennessee is red hot and barring a stunning loss to fan-favorite Longwood, the Volunteers will be waiting for Michigan in the Round of 32 to end their dance — I think with relative ease.
Nick Stoll: Lose in Round of 32
I’ll ignore the Wolverines’ win/loss alternating pattern for the sake of integrity in this pick. Either way, I think Michigan comes away with the win on Thursday. The Wolverines are much taller than the Rams — whose tallest listed player in their rotation is 6-foot-10 and tallest listed starter is 6-foot-8 — and should be able to bully them down low with a combo of Dickinson and freshman forward Moussa Diabate. I know Michigan is without Jones; I know Colorado State’s David Roddy is a unit to say the least. I still don’t think it matters. In the Round of 32, I expect the Wolverines to take on No. 3 seed Tennessee, a team I believe deserved a two seed. The Volunteers are just too good a basketball team for Michigan to overcome.
Spencer Raines: Lose in round of 64
Michigan is due for a win if you consult their win/ loss alternating record for the last month. But the fact of the matter is that with Jones out, the Wolverines don’t have much of a chance. Michigan needs its second scoring option if it wants to keep up with one of the nation’s best offenses in Colorado State. I think Roddy and the Rams will simply prove to be too much and the Wolverines season will end unceremoniously.
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