ESPN's Joe Lunardi lifts Michigan to a top seed in latest bracket; Michigan State a No. 2

The Detroit News

Michigan's Battle 4 Atlantis championship is carrying a lot of weight.

The Wolverines (7-0) rolled to the title in the Bahamas on the strength of a pair of convincing victories over top 10 teams in North Carolina and Gonzaga, a performance that got the attention of ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi.

Isaiah Livers and Michigan rolled to the Battle 4 Atlantis championship last week.

In his updated NCAA Tournament projections posted Monday, Lunardi has Michigan as the No. 1 seed in the West, where it would face the play-in game winner between No. 16 seeds Radford and St Francis (Pennsylvania).

That's quite a leap from his previous version on Nov. 22, in which Michigan was a No. 8 seed in the Midwest.

But, the Wolverines have had quite a week, opening the Battle 4 Atlantis with an 83-76 victory over Iowa State before dropping the then-No. 6 Tar Heels and then-No. 8 Bulldogs by an average of 13.5 points.

It helped Michigan jump to No. 4 in Monday's new Associated Press Top 25, after it was unranked all season.

Michigan faces another stiff test Tuesday when it takes on new No. 1 Louisville in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on the Cardinals' home floor.

Michigan State, meanwhile, slipped a bit in Lunardi's new projections, going from the top seed in the South to the No. 2 seed in the Midwest, where it would take on No. 15 seed Texas-Arlington in St. Louis.

The Spartans (5-2) went 2-1 last week at the Maui Invitational, notching victories over Georgia and UCLA after opening with a 71-66 loss to Virginia Tech.

No. 11 Michigan State plays host to No. 10 Duke on Tuesday.