So before the men take on MSU in the late afternoon, the WBB team hosts MSU as well. Michigan lost an earlier season matchup in East Lansing 73-77. Michigan shot the ball pretty well on that day, hitting 40% from 3 on 10 attempts but was about average from 2 at 44%. The real issues were turnovers and allowing MSU to shoot 42% from deep on 26 attempts. Nicole Munger - probably our most reliable shooter - was only able to play 6 minutes in that game due to injury, so that was a big factor as well.
Heading into this game, we are on a seven game losing streak, while the Spartans are on a three game losing streak. Aside from it being a rivalry, this game is very important for both teams in terms of their NCAA chances. A couple weeks ago, we were on the wrong side of the bubble and they were on the right side. Those positions are looking to be the opposite at this moment in time. Here is how they compare:
vs RPI top 50: 4-7
vs RPI 51-100: 2-2
vs RPI 101+: 13-0
vs RPI top 50: 5-4
vs RPI 51-100: 2-3
vs RPI 101+: 10-2
While the top 50 wins are about even, MSU has 3 wins against RPI top 15 teams. Michigan has one. But Michigan has no bad losses, their worst coming against Purdue (RPI 75) on the road. MSU has 2 losses outside the top 100 in @Wisconsin and @N'W.
A loss could put MSU in dire need of stringing together wins in the conference tourney to get into the tournament. A win for Michigan means we can feel pretty confident about our tourney chances heading into the conference tournament, probably only needing to avoid an upset to a team outside the top 100. A win this Sunday would be doubly sweet - beat a rival and also potentially knock them into the NIT. Making the NCAAs would show us that we are on the right path with WBB.