Joe Lunardi has posted his latest edition of ESPN Bracketology, and his new field of 68 teams includes both Michigan State and Michigan. The Spartans have been in Lunardi's NCAA tournament projection for a while now, but Michigan was nowhere in sight last week. After beating Minnesota on Saturday, the Wolverines have moved into Lunardi's "Last Four In" category.â†µ
As part of being one of the last four teams in the field, Michigan would be part of the "First Four." Because the tournament is expanding to 68 teams this season there are four play-in games. Two of those play-in games will feature the last four automatic qualifiers, and the other two will feature the last four at-large teams. The winners will move on to play in the second round, which is just confusing because it is really the first real round of action.â†µ
Lunardi has Michigan slotted as a 12 seed, playing Baylor in the First Four game in Dayton, Ohio. If Michigan won this projected matchup, it would move on to face Georgetown in Tampa, Fla.â†µ
Despite being blown out by Purdue on Sunday, Michigan State's seed in Lunardi's projection actually improved. The Spartans were an 11 seed last week, but this week they are a 10 seed. Their opponent in this edition of bracketology is George Mason, and the game would be played in Chicago. A game against Notre Dame would likely await the Spartans if they got past George Mason, which would make for quite the showdown at the United Center.