ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has updated his bracketology projections following Friday night’s conference tournament action.
It wasn’t easy for the Michigan State Spartans, but they were able to pull out the win over Iowa in the Big Ten quarterfinals. The win, as expected, did little to affect Michigan State’s projected seeding and location — Lunardi has them as the #3 seed in the East Region with a projected first-round matchup with #14 Harvard at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
Joe Lunardi’s other projected matchups at The Palace include #6 Notre Dame vs. #11 St. Mary’s, #3 Syracuse vs. #14 Iona, and #6 UNLV vs. #11 Witchita St.
Michigan’s quarterfinal loss to Wisconsin on Friday was in no way going to affect their selection into the NCAA Tournament, but it may have cost them the chance to play a relative “home” game at The Palace. The Wolverines, like the Spartans, had been projected for several weeks to be one of the higher seeds in Auburn Hills but, with the loss, Lunardi saw fit to drop their ranking to a #4 seed and projects them to be shipped out to Salt Lake City for the first two rounds (to take on #13 Akron).
The NCAA does their best to keep higher-ranked seeds closer to home. For Michigan, that pretty much means a guaranteed trip to Auburn Hills if they end up as a three seed, but leaves room for them to possibly be moved somewhere across the country if they get lost in the four-seed shuffle.