Back on November 30th, Michigan won at Clemson in a Big Ten/ACC Challenge game that didn't seem terribly noteworthy at the time. It certainly didn't appear to be a game pitting two NCAA Tournament teams against each other, but after both teams won in their respective conference tournament quarterfinals, it may very well be. Both clubs appeared in our Friday Bracketology projection, and they'll remain in Saturday's with the wins.
The Wolverines used some late three-point shooting to get past Illinois, 60-55. For the record, the Illini, who have been inconsistent down the stretch should hear their name called on Sunday night. The victory was Michigan's fourth over a team rated in the RPI Top 50 (Illinois has just three, for comparison's sake), and they'll get the chance at a fifth tomorrow against archrival Ohio State.
In the ACC, fourth-seeded Clemson defeated No. 5 Boston College for the second time in two tries this season, giving the Tigers an edge over the Eagles in terms of a bid, especially given the 23-point margin of this afternoon's win. Here's how the two teams' profiles compare, thanks to data from BBState.com.
Record: 21-10, 10-7 ACC
Record vs. RPI Top 50: 3-5
Record vs. RPI Top 100: 9-6
Bad (RPI 150+) Losses: None
Quality Wins: Boston College (twice), Florida State, Virginia Tech
Problematic Losses: at Maryland, at N.C. State, at Virginia, at South Carolina
Record: 20-12, 9-8 ACC
Record vs. RPI Top 50: 1-6
Record vs. RPI Top 100: 5-11
Bad (RPI 150+) Losses: Yale
Quality Wins: Texas A&M (neutral), Virginia Tech (twice)
Problematic Losses: Harvard, at Florida State, Clemson (twice), Miami (twice)
Both teams appear to be in trouble because of their losses, but Clemson gets a slight edge because of their performance against the top 100. The Eagles got nearly as many opportunities as the Tigers, but didn't take advantage of them.
Much like Georgia and Alabama, these two ACC teams will continue to create plenty of discussion between now and Sunday evening.