Submitted by TheLastStraw on February 22nd, 2019 at 11:10 AM

Joe Lunardi's Updated Bracketology

Michigan and Michigan State are both currently listed as 2 seeds. More importantly, Michigan is currently listed as the 2 seed in the East -- with Duke -- and MSU is the 2 seed in the West -- with Gonzaga.

I don't know about you, but Duke is the team I least want to face of the likely 1 seeds. So, uh, lets beat Michigan State. #analysis



February 22nd, 2019 at 11:20 AM ^

Watching Zion-less Duke against UNC...they're just not that scary to me. They can't shoot the 3 to save their lives. If Zion comes back for the tourney, yeah, they're scary as hell. But without him, I really don't think they're a better team than we are.

I also would not be surprised if they fall from the 1 line if he's out for the rest of the regular season. They have to go to Syracuse, VT, and UNC still. They could easily go 1-2 or 0-3 there.


February 22nd, 2019 at 11:30 AM ^

I think it's really going to come down to what Zion decides is the best career move. He will, in all likelihood, be able to play again this year, whether that's in the final UNC game, the ACC tourney, or the NCAA tournament. The question is whether he will "pull a Bosa" and just say that he is better served saving himself for the NBA draft. 

Perkis-Size Me

February 22nd, 2019 at 1:32 PM ^

Duke is probably still the most talented team in the country even without Zion on the floor. If not the most talented, one of the top 3-4 most talented. 

Yes, they're far more beatable when Zion isn't on the floor, but they are still more than capable of winning it all even without him. They just go from near unbeatable to extremely difficult. 

A Lot of Milk

February 22nd, 2019 at 11:34 AM ^

Matthews cancels out, or at least limits, Barrett

Z shuts down Jones

Just gotta get a good effort from whoever guards Reddish 

Without Zion we match-up amazingly with Duke. Who's gonna stop Teske? Bolden? I like his chances against any Duke player who is still with the team after three years. Zero points against UNC, not exactly a defensive juggernaut.

That being said, if Zion really sits out the rest of the season, I doubt Duke will be a 1 seed. Already have two home losses and still have to play at Syracuse and at UNC. It'll be Tennessee/Kentucky, Gonzaga, UVA/UNC, and Michigan/MSU


February 22nd, 2019 at 11:23 AM ^

Gonzaga has really earned that one seed. One meaningful win all season! 

I wish our one seed would have been cemented for curb stomping UNC, but we had that whole thing where we had to go on and continue to play against real competition. 


February 23rd, 2019 at 12:01 AM ^

Who has earned the one seed then?  Because at this point, Gonzaga is not only a 1, but probably would be the overall #1, or at worst the overall #2 with maybe Tenn the overall #1.  Everyone else has really bad losses, now Michigan can get a 1 imo, because their SOS down the stretch is going to be considerably better than Gonzaga most other teams, but they can't go 2-2, min 3-1 and win the BTT or get to the finals. 


February 22nd, 2019 at 11:25 AM ^

If we can somehow win out and win the B1G and the B1G tourney, we will be a #1, IMO. Right now, it seems like a #2 seed is the most likely scenario, with a #3 seed being the floor. If Zion is out, I will take Duke's bracket all day long, they probably don't even make the Final Four without him. Duke with him, is down right lethal and I would not want that smoke. None of the other potential one seeds scare me. I don't fear Gonzaga or Tennessee or Virginia. I'd be fine as #2 seed in any other region if Zion is healthy and playing. 


February 22nd, 2019 at 11:27 AM ^

Not to threadjack and it really doesn't matter, but I was looking at the rankings this morning and how do you rank the top 10 come Monday w/ Duke & Nevada losing?  Who is number 1?  You know UNC is going to get some love for their big win and might jump us even with a win vs. Sparty. Assuming no upsets to the top 10:

1. Gonzaga?

2. Duke? Sat. vs. Syracuse

3. Virginia?  Sat. vs. Louisville 

4. Tennessee? Sat. vs. LSU

5. Kentucky? vs. Auburn

6. Michigan? vs. MSU

7. UNC? vs. FSU

8. Houston????

I just give up.  

The Baughz

February 22nd, 2019 at 11:53 AM ^

If Duke rebounds and beats Cuse without Zion they will fall 1-2 spots max. UNC still has FSU tomorrow and could very easily lose that game. Nevada is out. But Zaga would be #1 and the rest would be a toss up. 

The interesting thing would be if Duke loses tomorrow. How far would they drop losing two games in a row? The committee will give them a pass, but if everyone wins ahead of them, they should be 7. Probably wont happen tho.


February 22nd, 2019 at 11:41 AM ^

I see we've entered the time of the year where we all get to watch Joe Lunardi be pretty mediocre at his one job.  

Gonzaga and Tennessee as #1s cracks me up.  Gonzaga has at least played a tough schedule out of conference; UT's entire non-conference slate is basically Louisville, Kansas, and Gonzaga, and they went 2-1 in that frame.  Beyond that, they have played exactly 2 top-50 KenPom teams and went 1-1 in those contests.  If you want to see a team likely to lose in the first weekend and Virginia feels too much of a layup, pick Tennessee.  

Whoever wins the Big 10 is probably locked into a 2 seed because they'll each lose a game or two more before the end of the year.  But the Big 10 and the ACC are the class of college basketball by a hefty margin this year.


February 22nd, 2019 at 12:49 PM ^

Lunardi's job is to predict what the committee will do, not what he thinks are the best teams.  In that sense he does a good job.  The committee on Feb 9 had Gonzaga as its 4th best team, and with all the three teams ahead of them losing, there is no doubt, zero, that Gonzaga is a one seed, maybe even the overall #1, if the committee were to release the bracket today.  Tennessee, I agree could be a 2, maybe Kentucky should have been a 1. Duke and UVA being the other one seeds is pretty reasonable, it's not great for Michigan fans, but the PSU loss was bad, really bad for the 1-seed discussion.  


February 22nd, 2019 at 11:51 AM ^

Agreed. I’d much rather be with the Zags than with Duke. The tournament committee will always favor Sparty unless we convincingly distance ourselves over the next few weeks. 

True Blue 9

February 22nd, 2019 at 11:54 AM ^

Jerry Palm over at CBS Sports also released his latest updated bracket, here are some highlights:

- He's got Michigan as the #2 in the East (Duke's bracket). First round would be against South Dakota State in Des Moines. I believe we played them a few years ago in the tourney and they have Mike Daum, who is now the Summit League's all-time leading scorer and the two time (about to be three) reigning Summit League player of the year. I'd like to avoid this match-up, thank you! 

- We'd have a 2nd round match-up with the winner of Buffalo and Oklahoma. Buffalo is an interesting team and would be a good challenge. 

- Some other match-ups that look interesting: MSU would play Montana in the first round (also in Des Moines) and get the winner of TCU vs. Louisville. They would get shipped out to the Anaheim regional. 

- St. John's and Ohio State would be an....interesting first round match-up and by interesting, I mean, I'd LOVE to see Shamaree Ponds run ALL OVER the Buckeyes!

- A potential 2nd round match-up of Villanova vs. Purdue would be a great one. I'd also love to see how Tennessee would handle Syracuse's zone. 


Here's the link to the bracket for those that are interested:


February 22nd, 2019 at 12:08 PM ^

I'm glad this isn't the actual bracket, I feel like Cincinnati and Marquette are two teams who could give us problems a lot more than other teams with the same seed number


February 22nd, 2019 at 12:34 PM ^

Michigan is being put in the East because they are a top 2 seed, regional much closer to Home.  Because of that it pairs them with Duke.  Weird situation where it might actually be an advantage to be sent West, rather be paired with Gonzaga in Anaheim Regional.  

Michigan's alumni base makes being shipped out west much less of an issue than it would be for most east schools.  Wonder if Warde has anyway of sharing that with the committee.

Perkis-Size Me

February 22nd, 2019 at 12:47 PM ^

If we have to face Duke in any facet, I hope it means that Zion has shut it down for the year. 

That is one team where, at full strength, I can honestly say I don’t know how Michigan beats them unless Duke plays it’s worst game of the year and we play our best game. And even then.....Love this team, but you’re looking at a Duke team where at least three of their five starters would be starting on NBA teams right now if they were in the league. If not more of them. 


February 22nd, 2019 at 1:41 PM ^

There seems like a strong possibility of Duke and U-M sharing a region.

Kentucky is considered the top 2 seed, so they avoid Virginia and Duke. UNC avoids Virginia and Duke because they’re in the same league. That leaves U-M and MSU to pair with Virginia and Duke, and Michigan-Duke is the pairing that has appeal because of history. 

And even if Mich outplays MSU from here on, that doesn’t necessarily change matters in this regard, since Duke may fall a spot or two down the S curve without Williamson. Seems quite likely that you could get an S curve like this...

1. Virginia

2. Tennessee

3. Duke

4. Gonzaga

5. Kentucky

6. U-M

7. UNC

8. MSU

...which leaves U-M right in line to play Duke. 


February 22nd, 2019 at 3:30 PM ^

Michigan could play it's way to a one seed with a sweep of MSU, but regardless it's way too early to predict or worry about who else is in our bracket.  Remember these threads last year?  The board spent a month worrying about getting stuck with Duke, then we wound up with Gonzaga and got an easy road to the final four.  

Arb lover

February 23rd, 2019 at 10:37 AM ^

Zaga is so overrated. They beat duke by 2 at home, but have lost to the only other 2 ranked teams they've played, home vs TN, and away vs UNC (a team we crushed as I recall). They also don't really play anyone else for the rest of the season. 

I'd rather be a 2 seed in Gonzaga's bracket than a 1 seed vs most of the other 2 seeds out there. 

Heck, they only beat Illinois by 6 at home. TA&M and Arizona were probably their best non-duke wins, and those were both at home as well. 


February 23rd, 2019 at 12:04 PM ^

Did you actually see their schedule to figure out where they played these games?  Hint - it wasn't at home.  The Duke, Illinois, TN, Arizona games were all neutral sites in pre-season tournaments. 

This is why Gonzaga is cemented as a one seed, they were neutral court wins or losses.  If I'm a 2, I'd much rather be in Virginia or Tennessee's draw, those are the overrated teams this year. 

Their best non-Duke win was against Washington, 29th in the Net rankings, note that Villanova is 27th.