ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Thursday's slate of college basketball games has already tipped off, and even though Michigan's regular season is over, there are plenty of games that could impact the Wolverines.
Michigan is in contention for an excellent seed, possibly even as high as a No. 2 seed. It's more likely that the Wolverines will end up with a No. 3 or No. 4 seed, but that will be determined in the next few days.
Here are the teams fans should root for to help Michigan's seed:
Boston College over Clemson
Game details: 2 p.m. -- ACC Tournament quarterfinal at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn
Michigan has a better resume than Clemson, but it's not by much. Clemson is ranked No. 12 in the RPI, and Michigan is No. 13.
The main factor working in Michigan's favor is Clemson's 4-8 record in quadrant one games. The Wolverines are 6-5 in those games and have 11 wins in quadrants one and two. Clemson has 10 wins in quadrants one and two, so a win over Boston College would close the gap and give the Tigers an opportunity for another huge win in the ACC semifinals.
A Boston College win would almost certainly drop Clemson below Michigan in the seedings.
Colorado over Arizona
Game details: 3 p.m. -- Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinal at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas
Arizona is one of the most talented teams in the country, but the combination of a weak conference and off-court uncertainty has given Michigan an edge, for now.
Arizona has only three wins in quadrant one, but a 9-2 record in quadrant two gives the Wildcats a chance to jump Michigan if they win the Pac-12 Tournament. A loss to Colorado would all but eliminate Arizona from that conversation.
UNLV over Nevada
Game details: 3 p.m. -- Mountain West Tournament quarterfinal at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas
Nobody seems to be talking about Nevada heading into March Madness, but they should be.
The Wolfpack is one spot behind Michigan at No. 14 in the RPI and has a stronger strength of schedule, despite playing in the Mountain West.
Nevada has an uphill battle to catch Michigan, as it has the same number of quadrant three losses as it does quadrant one wins: two. But the Wolverines would certainly be above the Wolfpack if it doesn't win the Mountain West Tournament.
UCLA over Stanford
Game details: 5:30 p.m. -- Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinal at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas
UCLA is a team to watch very closely this weekend for Michigan fans, as there's a chance for the Bruins to move into the top 30 in the RPI. If that happens, Michigan will get a quadrant one win for beating UCLA in Ann Arbor.
To move up from No. 36 and into the top 30, UCLA will have to win at least
Texas over Texas Tech
Game details: 7 p.m. -- Big 12 Tournament quarterfinal at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri
This game is a double whammy for Michigan. When Texas wins, it helps the Wolverines because of their head-to-head win in Austin. That's one of Michigan's quadrant one wins, and when the Longhorns rise, it looks even better.
Michigan is also trying to keep Texas Tech in the rearview mirror. Texas Tech could tie Michigan with six quadrant one wins with a victory over Texas, and even though the Wolverines have an edge in most categories, Texas Tech could go on a run in the conference tournament.
The Big 12 has a better basketball reputation than the Big Ten this season, so it would be great for Michigan if Texas Tech bowed out early.
North Carolina over Miami
Game details: 9 p.m. -- ACC Tournament quarterfinal at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn
While it might look like Michigan could jump a 10-loss North Carolina team, the Tarheels probably have too much on their resume -- 11 quadrant one wins and a head-to-head victory over Michigan -- to fall below the Wolverines either way.
Miami, on the other hand, is well behind Michigan's current spot, but The U's resume is very similar to what Michigan's looked like before the Big Ten Tournament.
Miami is projected to be somewhere between the No. 5 and No. 7 seed lines, but an ACC Tournament title would likely give the Hurricanes three additional quadrant one wins. It would also make them the champions of the best conference in the country.
Michigan is comfortably ahead of Miami for now, and a North Carolina win would seal it.
Baylor over West Virginia
Game details: 9 p.m. -- Big 12 Tournament quarterfinal at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri
Much like its Big 12 rival Texas Tech, West Virginia has a lot to gain in the conference tournament, despite being safely in the Big Dance.
West Virginia has nine losses this year, but ranks sixth in the nation, with seven quadrant one wins. A win over Baylor would give West Virginia a chance to pick up two more quadrant one victories en route to the Big 12 Tournament title, which could bump Michigan down a spot.
Baylor is fighting for its tournament life and isn't a threat to pass Michigan, so an upset would give the Wolverines a little more security.
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