The third-ranked Michigan Wolverines are in line for an NCAA Tournament date at The Palace of Auburn Hills, according to ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi. In his first bracket projection of the regular season, Lunardi handed Michigan the No. 1 seed in the West, with Rounds 2 and 3 set for Auburn Hills.
You can check out Lunardi’s full bracket here.
Michigan, presumably, has the fourth No. 1 seed since Lunardi placed the Maize and Blue on the same side of the bracket as Midwest No. 1 Indiana — the brackets are drawn so the highest and lowest No. 1 seeds would play in the Final Four, with the second- and third-rated top seeds in the other semifinal.
Lunardi’s opponent for Michigan in Round 2 (remember, “Round 1″ is not the four-game play-in): Canisius, of the MAAC. The next foe in this hypothetical would be either No. 8 seed Butler or No. 9 Cal.
Despite a little bit of a rocky start to 2012-13, Michigan State also claimed a fairly cushy spot in Lunardi’s bracket: The Spartans are a No. 5 seed in the East, with a Round 2 matchup in San Jose against Colorado State. No. 4 seed Gonzaga and No. 13 Florida Gulf Coast are penciled in as the other matchup in that sub-regional.
All told, Lunardi handed out seven spots to Big Ten teams, tying it with the Big East and ACC for most bids from one conference.