MGoBlog has moved. The new site can be found at

Monday, March 17, 2008

The list. Baylor, Clemson, and Kansas State have all made the basketball tournament. What relevance does this have for Michigan basketball fans? Each of those teams was sporting a tourney drought of equal or greater length than Michigan, which cuts down The List. What is The List? An assemblage of ever-dwindling big conference (BE, P10, B10, SEC, ACC) teams with tourney droughts comparable to Michigan's. The new edition:

Nebraska: 1998
Florida State: 1998
South Florida: 1992
Rutgers: 1991
Oregon State: 1990
Northwestern: Never
Six of 73.

Hockey. Last weekend couldn't have gone any better from the Michigan perspective. Most importantly, Michigan swept UNO. Bonuses from around the country:
  • UND won its series against Tech but took three games to do it, dropping them from the #1 spot in the PWR and staking Michigan to a lead of what looks like a full game in the RPI.
  • Wisconsin got swept and Clarkson lost its first round series, guaranteeing that a third autobid outside the top 16 spots gets in. Upshot: the Badgers are now the first team out of the tournament.
  • State lost to Northern, removing the one team in the CCHA Michigan had a losing record against and providing Michigan an easier opponent for their game Friday.
  • Notre Dame rose from the dead and is now in the tourney. (This last one is not so much a positive for Michigan, but it's good for the CCHA and everyone's sense of cosmic justice.)
Air Force and Niagara won their conference tourneys and autobids.

I haven't had time to check the nitty-gritty of the PWR, but some weird stuff went on. Miami leapt up to the #2 overall seed and Colorado College dropped to #4 despite CC's sweep of Alaska-Anchorage; I think this is because Michigan Tech's win against NoDak propelled them into the top 25 of the RPI, which makes them a TUC and brings CC's 0-1-1 record against them into play. Ferris also dropped from TUC status, removing their sweep of Miami from Super Special Consideration. It's all very complicated.

This week's completely useless bracket construction:

1. Michigan
16. Air Force
9. Michigan State

2. Miami
15. Niagara
7. Boston College
11. Minnesota

3. UNH
14. Minnesota State
6. Denver
10. Clarkson

4. CC
13. ECAC Autobid
5. North Dakota
12. Notre Dame

(as always, this is as sturdy as a lean-to in a hurricane and was a waste of my time.)

The committee is not compelled to break first round all-WCHA matchups since they have six teams in the tourney, but they could swap Minnesota and Clarkson if they wanted and maybe the ECAC autobid with Minnesota State. Neither would hurt bracket integrity or attendance much, so I've made the switches above.

Could State please GTF out of our regional? No, probably not, since they're done for the year.

So, about this weekend. Since none of the chasers have imploded, Michigan hasn't locked up much. Michigan currently wins all comparisons but can lose out to Miami, CC, and North Dakota. Scenarios:
  • Win the CCHA. The only team that could pass Michigan would be a WCHA-winning CC. Michigan would get a small conference autobid in Wisconsin-free Madison, which is excellent.
  • Get swept. Much depends on the outcome of the other two games, but I think M loses at least two more comparisons and falls behind either North Dakota or Miami, which would allow one of those teams to head to Madison. Michigan would get shipped East as the #4 or #5 seed and probably have to deal with a high quality. Second round opponent. Bad news.
  • Split. Almost as bad, I think. Miami would pass us if they won the league and one of the two WCHA teams would also; probably both. Would be a cluster of teams tied atop the standings (UNH complicates everything) and Michigan could go anywhere.
It's delightfully simple and mmmm caketastic if they win the CCHA; if not Michigan could get a relatively nasty draw.

Michigan plays Northern at 4:30 Friday; Miami and Notre Dame is the other semifinal.

Update: readers email to note that the M gametime has been changed to 8:05; it is so. Also, You Are The Committee is up at CHN if you feel like fiddling around with the the last weekend's results. I'm trying to figure out if Wisconsin can still get in... unfortunately the answer appears to be yes if all top seeds hold and ND loses two at the Joe. We really want ND to win at least one; the nice thing is that if we end up facing them they've already downed Miami and will be a tourney lock.