Not agreeing or disagreeing, but do think the below are facts with regards to how NU vs UM could be perceived:
That standard that they apply effectively lowers their potential talent level, or forces them to get a bunch of academic all star guys who would be in Duke's wheelhouse, or a lower tier talent-wise who would be in ours/NDs...
They are playing better on court and could be viewed as on the rise vs Michigan being viewed as somewhat stagnant
Their coach is likely a better recruiter than ours (I say likely b/c I don't honestly know but would say its a safe presumption)
Their coach is better converting player star rankings to smart play, wins, consistent output, team focus/intensity than ours (last 3y)
Lets say they get into the tourney as a 6/7 seed... I'd take their capability to fight and play smart over a lot of teams in the B1G who may have more talent. If they outperform their seed, I can see them having a lot of momentum and there are a number of guys like Ryan who are talented, academically qualified, and would see them as a potentially better option. Give Collins a couple top 50-75 guys and I think they are a consistent 20w team.