March 11, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team received its third at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament in the past four years on Sunday evening (March 11). The Wolverines are the No. 4 seed in the Midwest Region and will face No. 13 seed Ohio University in the second round on Friday (March 16) at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. The game is scheduled for a 6:20 p.m. CDT start and will be televised by TNT.
The Michigan-Ohio winner will advance to the third round to face the winner of No. 5 seed Temple and No. 12 seed California/South Florida on Sunday (March 18) for a spot in the Midwest Region semifinals in St. Louis, Mo. Game times are TBA.
U-M enters the NCAA Tournament for the 23rd time in program history and carries a 43-21 (36-17 after sanctions) all-time record, including winning the 1989 national title. It marks the first time Michigan has earned back-to-back tournament berths since 1995 and '96.
Michigan is 24-9 overall and posted a 13-5 record in Big Ten Conference play to claim a share of its first Big Ten title since 1986, a span of 26 years. The Wolverines' 24-9 record continues to be the best start for Michigan under fifth-year head coach John Beilein and marks the third 20-win season in the last four years. Beilein is just the second U-M coach to win 20 games in three of his first five seasons, joining Steve Fisher.
In the 2012 Big Ten Tournament, Michigan received the No. 2 seed, its highest seed in program history. The Wolverines defeated 10th-seeded Minnesota, 73-69, in overtime of the quarterfinals before falling to third-seeded Ohio State, 77-55, in the semifinals.
Beilein is taking his seventh team to the NCAA Tournament, his third while at U-M. He is one of just seven coaches in NCAA history to take four different schools to the NCAA Tournament -- Canisius (1996), Richmond (1998), West Virginia (2005, '06) and Michigan (2009, '11, '12).
Ohio (26-7) earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by winning the 2012 Mid-American Conference Tournament. This marks the Bobcats' 13th NCAA berth and first since 2010, when they defeated Georgetown in the first round before losing to Tennessee.
The Bobcats are led by All-MAC first team selection D.J. Cooper, who is averaging 14.3 points per game. All-MAC honorable mention pick Walter Offutt rounds out Ohio's double-digit scorers, averaging 12.0 points per outing. Michigan is 3-0 all-time against Ohio, with the last meeting between the two teams coming in the 1971 Michigan Invitational at Crisler Arena. The Wolverines are 1-0 against the Bobcats in NCAA Tournament history, having defeated OU 69-57 in the 1964 Midwest Regional finals.
Temple, a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, enters the tournament with a 24-6 overall record. The Owls, who were defeated in the quarterfinals of the A-10 Tournament by Massachusetts, are led by two players averaging more than 17 points per game, senior guard Ramone Moore (17.8) and junior guard Khalif Wyatt (17.1).
South Florida, which was the last of nine Big East teams to earn an NCAA Tournament bid, will play California on Wednesday (March 14) at 9 p.m. in the opening round in Dayton, Ohio. USF will be making its first appearance in the national tournament since 1992.
Cal, which is the only Pac-12 team to receive an NCAA Tournament at-large bid, earned its third tournament berth in four years and 17th in program history. Last season, the Bears competed in the National Invitation Tournament and advanced to the second round before falling to Colorado.
Michigan is one of six Big Ten schools to earn an NCAA Tournament bid, joining Michigan State (No. 1, West), Ohio State (No. 2, East), Indiana (No. 4, South), Wisconsin (No. 4 East) and Purdue (No. 10, Midwest).
TICKET INFORMATION: There will be no public sale of NCAA Tournament tickets through U-M. Basketball season ticket holders were granted priority access to pre-reserve tickets and our allotment is sold out (regardless of location).
Contact: Tom Wywrot, Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423