INDIANAPOLIS – A win vs. Purdue would have all but sealed Michigan's (22-12) ticket to the Big Dance.
Instead, after falling to Purdue 76-59 in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament, it’ll be over 24 hours of waiting for the Wolverines before they learn of their fate as a one of the headlining teams on the fringe of the NCAA Tournament.
Michigan, which entered Saturday with an RPI of 55, is 4-11 vs. RPI top-100 teams
“We fought hard and that’s really not our decision,” said Michigan junior guard Zak Irvin. “That’s the committee’s decision. We’ll just find out tomorrow. People didn’t thing we were going to make it this far in the (Big Ten) Tournament. I’m proud of all of our guys.”
What Michigan has going for it: the most wins (three) of any bubble team vs. the RPI top 20 and being 8-0 vs. RPI teams ranked 101-200 (meaning they are among the minority of bubble teams without a bad loss)
What’s holding Michigan back: the most losses (six) of any bubble team vs. the RPI top 20, four wins in 15 tries against the RPI top 100, UCONN with a win over Temple in the semifinals of the American Athletic Tournament
Now all that Michigan can do is load the buses and head back to Ann Arbor in anticipation of what Sunday evening will bring.
“We beat a tough Northwestern team and knocked off No. 1 seed IU,” Irvin said. “But like I said, it’s not our decision.
“I’ll definitely watch with the team. I’m nervous and excited to find out what happens. We’ll see tomorrow.”