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Posted on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 : 9:26 p.m.

Michigan basketball team's shot at a Big Ten title share still alive after Michigan State loss

By Nick Baumgardner

With plenty of help from Indiana, the Michigan basketball team's dream of grabbing a piece of the 2011-12 Big Ten title is still alive.

For now, anyway.

The 18th-ranked Hoosiers blasted No. 5 Michigan State, 70-55, on Tuesday night in Bloomington, Ind., shrinking MSU's lead in the Big Ten standings to just one game, with one to play.

The Spartans (24-5, 13-4) have already clinched a share of the Big Ten championship, but have also left the door open for both Ohio State and Michigan to grab a part of the prize.


Indiana guard Matt Roth celebrates as he comes off the court in the second half of the Hoosiers' 70-55 win over Michigan State on Tuesday.

AP Photo

Michigan (21-8, 11-5) still needs to get road wins over Illinois on Thursday (7 p.m., ESPN) and Penn State on Sunday (1 p.m., ESPN) to earn a share. Additionally, the Wolverines need Ohio State (23-6, 11-5) to knock off MSU in East Lansing on Sunday.

Should Ohio State beat Northwestern on Wednesday and the Spartans on Sunday -- and the Wolverines finish the week unbeaten -- the Big Ten title would be split three ways.

The Wolverines have not won a Big Ten championship since 1986.

In terms of Big Ten Tournament seeding, a three-team tie would be decided as follows:

1. Results of head-to-head competition during the regular-season. a. When comparing records against the tied teams, the team with the higher winning percentage shall prevail, even if the number of games played against the team or group are unequal (i.e., 2-0 is better than 3-1, but 2-0 is not better than 1-0).

b. After the top team among the tied teams is determined, the second team is ranked by its record among the original tied teams, not the head-to-head record vs. the remaining team(s).

2. If the remaining teams are still tied, then each tied team's record shall be compared to the team occupying the highest position in the final regular-season standings, continuing down through the standings until one team gains an advantage. a. When arriving at another pair of tied teams while comparing records, use each team's record against the collective tied teams as a group (prior to their own tie-breaking procedures), rather than the performance against the individual tied teams.

b. When comparing records against a single team or group of teams, the higher winning percentage shall prevail, even if the number of games played against the team or group are unequal (i.e., 2-0 is better than 3-1, but 2-0 is not better than 1-0).

3. Won-loss percentage of Division I opponents.

4. Coin toss conducted by Commissioner or designee.

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan basketball for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.

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Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 6:50 p.m.

..still in it.. Go Blue! v


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 5:30 p.m.

Kind of like The Spartans, backing there way into a three way tie for first place.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 4:22 a.m.

Goofus How apropos.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:30 a.m.

State started the season unranked. What was Um ranked? something unwarranted, probably. Better to rise and plateau than sink and then paddle.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 3:49 p.m.

The Spartans are now 24-6 overall.


Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 2:33 p.m.

Or you can just leave the inaccurate record posted in the article.. either way works for me!


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 5:31 p.m.

cool story bro....


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 2:02 p.m.

I think UM is just as likely to back itself out of a share with loss on the road as State is to beat OSU a second time. Anyone got a coin to toss? We'll see what happens. It's been an interesting season, to be sure.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 1:03 p.m.

I'm sure UofM would be very content with backing into a Big Ten Championship. Kind of like how they backed in to a BCS bowl game.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 8:11 p.m.

Yeah, it wouldn't be backing in at all. Conferences titles have always been determined by wins and losses. Every team plays the same number of games. Not to mention we beat Ohio State once and Michigan State once. Sorry Cliff, but you are wrong. Having said that, I'm not entirely convinced that Michigan will win these next two games. I hope I'm wrong!


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 4:25 p.m.

Weird to me how people try to insult a team (backing in) that benefits from another team losing. It suddenly becomes a negative whereas it wouldn't be construed as "backing in" had the losses occurred at some other time in the season. I guess teams only truly earn a championship by going undefeated.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 2:02 p.m.

Doesn't really matter once the NCAA Tourney starts.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 1:24 p.m.

There would be no backing in if State could win its clutch games.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 12:48 p.m.

Is still feels wrong to cheer for Ohio, so I won't. Ever. Go Blue

Ed Kimball

Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 5:18 p.m.

Sounds like cutting off one's nose to spite one's face!