Page 10-Tuesday, February 19, 1980-The Michigan Daily
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MUST WIN AT CRISLER
Cagers post-season hope -NIT?
By ALAN FANGER
A Daily Sports Analysis
The post-season tournament fate of the Michigan
basketball team may not lie in the hands of just its 11 players,
but in the minds of several men sitting in a small office in
New York's Madison Square Garden.
This rather anonymous group forms the National
Invitation Tournament (NIT) Committee, and by March 2
they will have selected 32 teams to play in the annual post-
The Wolverines are currently 7-7 in the Big Ten and 14-9.
overall. Their last four games pit them at home against
Purdue and Indiana, and on the road against Iowa and
Minnesota. These teams hold down four of the top five spots
in the conference.
Taking into account the propensity for Big Ten teams to
win at home regardless of who the opponent may be,
Michigan would appear to have an added advantage heading
into the Purdue and Indiana contests. But both the
Boilermakers and Hoosiers have incentives of their own - a
chance to win the conference title and an NCAA tournament
berth. The return of forward Mike Woodson to the Indiana
lineup has made the Hoosiers an even greater threat to the
other contending teams.
With the NCAA field having been expanded to 48 teams,
the selection of three Big Ten teams for the tournament
looms as a distinct possibility. If the NIT committee were to
select three more conference teams, as they did last year,
then conceivably as many as six Big Ten teams could find
themselves in post-season tournament play.
Holding down sixth place in the conference standings,
Michigan finds itself in a tenuous position. The Wolverines
could rise to the top or sink to near the bottom of the heap,
depending on the outcome of the 20 remaining games that
will be played in the next two weeks.
If Michigan is to have any chance of being chosen to play-
in a tournament, they will have to achieve the followin
" A conference record of 9-9 or better. The NIT
committee would probably ignore any team which has failed'
to finish with less than a .500 conference record. Thus, the
Wolverines would have to win at least two of their four
remaining games to contend for a bid.
* A sixth-place finish or better. This is a most difficalt
requirement. Illinois and Michigan State are sitting just one
game behind the Wolverines, and each team could gain some
ground in the standings, possibly creating a tie situation in
the middle of the standings. In the case of a tie between the
Wolverines and Spartans, MSU would be in the preferable
position, since it defeated Michigan in both conference
games this season.
* In all likelihood, a victory in one of its two remainng
road games. In this topsy-turvy Big Ten race, good teams are
distinguished by their ability to wip games away from home.
Thus far, Michigan has won only one of its seven road
contests. The NIT, with a large pool of teams from which to
make its selection, will undoubtedly use road performance as
one of its criteria for determining the composition of the
There are, of course, several less tangible factors that
enter into the picture. The NIT, an Eastern-oriented
tournament, tends to select several small schools from that
region, thereby adding a local flavor to the event.
The comnposition of the NCAA field will also affect the
NIT selections. NIT bids will be handed out after all the
NCAA teams have been selected. Thus, teams which were
expected to receive NCAA bids but did not receive them
would be in a favorable position to receive an NIT bid.
SPOITS 1 TiP
Thursday, Feb. 21 Purdue, Crisler,
Saturday, Feb. 23 Indiana, Crisler
Friday, Feb. 22 Edinboro State College,
Crisler, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 23 Michigan state, Matt
Mann Pool, 2 p.m.
1. Northern Michigan (6)...........96
2. North Dakota (4)...............92
3. Boston College ................. 82
4. Providence ..................... 57
5. Michigan ....................... 56
6. Minnesota ...................... 40
7. Dartmouth .................... 31
8. Ohio State ...................... 29
9. Vermont ....................... 21
10. Notre Dame...................10
Also receiving votes: Colorado
College, University of Minnesota-
Duluth and Clarkson.
First place votes in parenthesis.
Notre Dame ...
Mich. Tech ....
Mich. State ....
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
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Notre Dame 5, MICHIGAN 4ot, Sot
North Dakota 5, 6 Minnesota 3, 1
Michigan State 4, 5 Denver 2,8
UM-Duluth 5,8 Wisconsin 3,4
Colorado 7,5 Michigan Tech 6,11
Louisville 77, Virginia Tech 72
Yale 68, Union 62
Fubars 69, Curly Whites 69 (OT)
SMU 62, Arkansas 58
U Mass. 69, UNH 63
Los Angeles 4. DETROIT x
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