This may be arguably the best collection of state of Michigan NCAA Basketball teams since 1998 when Michigan State, Eastern Michigan, Detroit Mercy, Michigan, and Western Michigan participated in the NCAA tournament.
That year, the Spartans as a No. 4 seed made it to the Sweet Sixteen before falling to the Tar Heels, the Wolverines as a No. 3 seed lost to UCLA in the second round, Western Michigan as a No. 11 seed upset Clemson in the first round before losing to Stanford in the second round, Detroit Mercy as a No. 10 seed upset St. Johns in the first round before falling to Purdue in the second round, and Eastern Michigan as a No. 13 seed lost to Michigan State in the first round.
It is very feasible that four teams from the state of Michigan can make the NCAA tournament this upcoming season as there are some talented teams from the state of Michigan this season. It is not beyond a reason of a doubt that one of the five mid-major teams wins some non-conference games against quadrant one and quadrant two teams, wins their regular season conference title, they make it to the conference tournament finals and loses but qualifies as an at large bid for the tournament. If there is a time for five division one teams from the state of Michigan to make the NCAA tournament, 2023 is the year that it can be done. A lot has to happen but it is a possibility.
Let’s look at the top non-conference games that we are aware of for this upcoming season for the teams from the state of Michigan. Winning these challenging non-conference games is critical to helping teams qualify for the NCAA tournament in 2023.
*Oakland vs. Long Beach State in the Nassau Championship tournament on Nov. 25.
*Western Michigan at Rice on Nov. 19.
*Central Michigan at Minnesota TBA.
*Western Michigan at Dayton on Nov. 30.
*Eastern Michigan at Bradley on Nov 15.
*Detroit Mercy at Florida Atlantic TBA.
Top 15 Non-Conference Games
15. Oakland at Syracuse on December 6th
Syracuse is undefeated against the Golden Grizzlies as they are 4-0 against them. They last played in 2019, the Orange men defeated Oakland that year by a final score of 74-62. The Golden Grizzlies and head coach Greg Kampe look to pull the upset on the road this year and it will be a difficult but not impossible task to complete.
14. Central Michigan at Michigan on December 30th
Since 2002, the Chippewas and Wolverines have played each other six times with all of the games being on Michigan’s home court. Central Michigan has won twice during that span in 2002 and 2007, with Michigan winning four out of six against the Chippewas. The Wolverines have won the last two games these teams have squared off against one another and they should be heavy favorites against Central Michigan when they meet this season. The Chippewas have beat Michigan twic before so an upset is not out of the realm of possibility but it is very unlikely.
13. Western Michigan at Iowa State on December 18th
This will be the first ever meeting between these two schools as the Broncos look to pull of the upset in Ames, Iowa. The Cyclones are projected to be a Top 50 team entering this season and the Broncos are unproven based on last season’s win total but Western Michigan has a new head coach and multiple returning starters and can give Iowa State a good run in this non-conference game.