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How Michigan Fairs In The NCAA Tournament

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It is no surprise that Michigan has had one hell of a season, and finished the season on quite a bit of a shaky run. Losing to Illinois, MSU, and OSU in their last 6 games. And on top of that, they lose key player Isaiah Livers for possibly the remainder of the season. Livers came out and said that he wants to be out there with this team, and if they make a tournament run which he believes in, then he wants to be there for it. But he also stated that it would be “miraculous” for him to return in this NCAA tournament.

With all that being said, Michigan went from one of the top favorites entering the tournament, to now being questioned if they will make it out of the round of 32 vs LSU. But who is to say that they will even be playing LSU? Anything can happen in this crazy tournament.

LSU sure can play some offense and put up great numbers, but they don’t have much of a defense. That can really be the deciding factor when it comes to Michigan vs LSU; because Michigan has one of the best defenses in the country, so if they can slow down LSU a bit, then they will be able to pull away quick in that game.

Who else do they have in their region? MSU. If both teams can continue to win, then they would face off in an electric Elite Eight showdown. I do believe that this scenario could play out, because MSU has shown that they are a team that can beat anyone in the country, while also lose to anyone just as quickly. I am hoping highly on that outcome, a matchup to decide game 3 this season that happens to be in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. Sign me up!! But watch MSU lose in the play-in game against UCLA and not even make it to the round of 64.

Two other tricky teams that can give Michigan a run for their money is Alabama and Texas. I say “two tricky teams” because they are the 2 & 3 seed in the region. But in my reality, I can see Alabama losing to 15 seed Iona in the first major upset of this tournament. Rick Pitino is the head coach for Iona, and he definitely knows how to win in March. Bama has never impressed me at all this year, so give me Iona upsetting them in the first round. Texas though is a different story, after watching them throughout the year, I am nothing but impressed with what they have to offer on the table. I have backed Texas quite a bit this season, and they have not disappointed me yet. I told myself a couple weeks ago that I would have Texas going far in this tournament, so I am going to stick with that.

A crazy outcome that is way to early to talk about; but I have to bring up before it’s too late, is that if Michigan makes it to the National Championship, they could possibly go up against Ohio State or Illinois. How crazy of a championship game would that bring to the fans? 2021 National Championship game would be one for the ages. But first, Michigan must do their part and make it that far first. And without Livers, that makes it very tricky to accomplish.

This is also the first time Michigan is a #1 seed in the tournament since Juwan Howards sophomore year back in 1993. There is something about that man that brings excellence to the program. GO BLUE!!!

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Jonathan Garner

Junior at Grand Valley State University Sport Management Major

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