INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – ESPN’s Basketball Power Index projected Michigan (16%) as one of the double-digit seeds with the best chance to reach the Sweet 16 in the 2022 NCAA Tournament.
The BPI has a pretty decent eye for bracket success dating back to 1985, where at least one double-digit seed has reached the Sweet 16 in 34 of 36 NCAA Tournaments.
Hence, it feels like a foregone conclusion that at least one such team will make it this year, and the BPI gives the men in maize a 16% chance to make it to the round of 16 for the fifth year in a row.
In 2016, BPI gave the Gonzaga Bulldogs the best odds of all the double-digit seeded teams to reach the Sweet 16, and doggone it they did it after they defeated the Utah Utes 82-59.
In 2017, the Basketball Power Index gave the Xavier Musketeers the second-best chance to of all the double-digit seeds to get to the Sweet 16. They got there, but they took it a step further by defeating the Arizona Wildcats 73-71, outscoring them 38-34 for the nail-biting upset to advance to the Elite Eight.
In 2018, Sister Jean and Loyola Chicago had the second-best chance to get to the round of 32, and let’s just say they outplayed their expectations. That season, the no-name underdog went from unknown to fan favorite, making it all the way to the Final Four before falling to Michigan, 69-57.
In 2019, the No. 12 seeded Oregon Ducks advanced to the Sweet 16 after boat racing UC Irvine 73-54, then ultimately fell to the eventual national championship-winning Virginia Cavaliers.
Last but not least, in 2021, BPI projected Syracuse had a 21% chance to make the Sweet 16. The Orange defeated West Virginia 75-72, outlasting the Mountaineers’ 43 point second half.
BPI has identified Georgia, Xavier, Loyola-Chicago, Oregon, and Syracuse correctly in the past five NCAA Tournaments. And this year, they’ve given ACC Tournament champion Virginia Tech a 17% chance and Michigan a 16% chance to advance to the second weekend of the tournament.
DeVante’ Jones out
Those odds sounded exhilarating for the Wolverines, as the men’s basketball team held open practice Wednesday (March 16), but, to their chagrin, their lead ball-handler was nowhere to be found.
According to reports, point guard DeVante’ Jones didn’t travel with the team to Indianapolis and will miss the opening game Thursday vs. Colorado State, as he is in concussion protocol.
MISS THE FAM 💔 https://t.co/umnlQk3Uub— DeVante’ Jones (@3DevanteJ) March 16, 2022
According to head coach Juwan Howard, Jones suffered a head injury thanks to an inadvertent elbow to the nose during Tuesday’s practice.
The team thinks the grad transfer would be back in time for a potential round of 32 game.
Tip-off for Thursday’s matchup is set for 12:15 p.m. on CBS. The Wolverines would play the winner of No. 3 Tennessee and No. 14 Longwood, if they advance.
More: Seesaw season sends Michigan to NCAA Tournament with No. 11 seed, will face Colorado State