NCAA Tournament: Is Michigan the Worst "Favorite" Ever?

Bryan FloryAnalyst IMarch 13, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 12:  Tim Hardaway Jr. #10 of the Michigan Wolverines looks on against Ohio State Buckeyes during the semifinals of the 2011 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 12, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

Let me preface this argument with the fact I am a Michigan Alum, and am 100% proud that a strong basketball tradition has been brought back to Michigan.

But nobody was more surprised than I was tonight, when the bracket was unveiled and there we stood "8. Michigan." What???

Let's rewind. Friday afternoon. Second half. Michigan down 13 to Illinois. The CBS announcers began questioning whether or not Michigan would make the tournament. The exact quote went something like, "If Michigan doesn't up their tempo and put the ball in the hands of Darius Morris and Tim Hardaway, Jr., they can kiss their tournament hopes goodbye."

Michigan rallies behind the efforts of Morris and Hardaway and beats Illinois by 5.

Now to Saturday, where the Wolverines hung with Ohio State for about 30 minutes until a fateful 17-2 run that killed all chances of winning. Valiant effort against the number one team in the country, but they do not have the size to compete with Ohio State's big men.

All day Sunday, there was speculation that Michigan would be an 11 seed according to ESPN's Joe Lunardi. At one point, he had them projected to play West Virginia, which, needless to say, would have been awesome with all of the backstories.

Suddenly, the Wolverines are considered the 29th best team in the country, even though they went 20-13.

There was a stretch this season (1-7), where it was so painful, I didn't even think we would make the NIT.

The fact of the matter is Michigan has wins against the following tournament teams: Illinois, Michigan St. (twice), Penn St.(twice), Oakland, and Clemson. Not exactly Murder's Row.

Yes, there were close games with Ohio St., Kansas, Syracuse, and Wisconsin, but when the best win is against Harvard (who didn't even make the tournament), you don't deserve to be an 8 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Maybe it is a testament to how much parity is in college basketball this year, but Michigan very well could be the worst "favorite" ever.

Let the debate begin...

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