Michigan is the highest remaining seed on its side of the bracket in the NCAA Tournament. Las Vegas considers the Wolverines one of the top four favorites left to win the national championship.
Michigan is riding an 11-game winning streak, a run that includes a Big Ten tournament title.
It looks like the Wolverines have a legitimate shot to cut down the nets in San Antonio. Instead, Myron Medcalf of ESPN writes, Michigan simply has its work cut out.
ESPN reseeded the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 on Monday, and slotted the Wolverines (30-7) 15th overall — 15th! — while dropping them one spot to a No. 4 seed.
The Wolverines rank one spot behind Loyola-Chicago, a No. 11 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and just ahead of Kansas State.
Michigan, Medcalf writes, simply hasn’t looked the part compared to other contenders who remain alive.
“Jordan Poole saved Michigan’s season with a buzzer-beater that shocked a Houston team that had played the better game for 39 minutes, 56.4 seconds Saturday,” Medcalf writes. “The Wolverines now advance to the Sweet 16 after defeating Houston in a thriller and Montana via a double-digit victory — the Grizzlies scored 47 points — in the opening round.”
The Wolverines have said they didn’t play their “best basketball” in Wichita, Kan., including junior center Moritz Wagner, who scored just five points against Montana on 2-of-6 shooting. He had 12 points and seven rebounds against Houston.
“ ... the Wolverines squeezed by a dangerous 6-seed on a buzzer-beater, and its best player (Moritz Wagner, with five points) struggled against a Big Sky champion. It’s not close to the dominant efforts from higher seeds on this list, but it’s also short of Michigan’s potential.”
Michigan will get a shot to realize that potential when it takes on No. 7 seed Texas A&M (22-12) on Thursday night in Los Angeles. The Aggies are ranked No. 7 in ESPN’s reseeding.