ESPN's Joe Lunardi put together his first bracketology of the New Year today. Selection Sunday may be a good 10 weeks away, but with conference play underway across the nation, now is a good time to start looking ahead to the NCAA tournament and teams' resumes as they try to build a case for March Madness.â†µ
In the Big Ten, Lunardi has six teams making the tournament in today's edition of bracketology. One of those teams is Michigan State, which Lunardi has as the No. 5 seed in the West. The Spartans' predicted matchup right now is a game against Wichita State and likely BYU in the second round.â†µ
Lunardi's other five Big Ten teams are Ohio State (a No. 1 seed), Purdue (a No. 2 seed), Illinois (a No. 4 seed), Wisconsin (a No. 5 seed) and Minnesota (a No. 7 seed). Lunardi has Michigan last on the list of the "Next Four Out." This essentially means that the Wolverines are on the bubble and are the eighth team on the outside looking in. That's not bad at all considering Michigan was expected to struggle to make the NIT earlier in the season. Based on their performance against Purdue last week, it's looking like an NCAA tournament bid might be asking too much, but with home games against No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Kansas coming up in the next week or so, Michigan will have chances to pull off an upset to build its tourney resume.