March 16, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team received its fourth straight at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament on Sunday evening (March 16). The Wolverines are the No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region and will face No. 15 seed Wofford in the second round on Thursday (March 20) at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wis. The game will be televised on CBS and tip at 6:10 p.m. CT. There is limited ticket availability through Ticketmaster.
The Michigan-Wofford winner will advance to the third round to face the winner of No. 7 seed Texas and No. 10 seed Arizona State on Saturday (March 22) for a spot in the Midwest Region semifinals at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind..
U-M will make its 25th overall NCAA Tournament appearance in program history and carries a 48-23 (41-19 after sanctions) all-time record, including winning the 1989 national title. It marks the first time Michigan has earned four straight tournament berths since a string of five straight from 1992 to 1996. Last season, U-M returned to the Final Four for the first time in 20 years and finished runner-up, losing to Louisville in the national title game.
Michigan enters the tournament with 25-8 overall record. U-M finished with a 15-3 conference record and claimed its first outright Big Ten regular-season title in 28 years. Seeded No. 1 at the Big Ten Tournament for the first time, the Wolverines defeated Illinois in the quarterfinals and No. 24 Ohio State in the semifinals before falling to No. 22 Michigan State in the final.
Head coach John Beilein is taking his 10th team to an NCAA Tournament, including his fifth while coaching at Michigan. He is one of just nine 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, '13, '14).
Michigan is one of six Big Ten schools to earn a spot in the 68-team NCAA Tournament field, joining Wisconsin, Michigan State, Ohio State, Nebraska and Iowa.
A look at the other teams in Michigan's part of the bracket for the NCAA second and third rounds:
Wofford (20-12) -- Led by sophomore guards Karl Cochran (15.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and Spencer Collins (12.8 ppg), the Terriers finished third in the Southern Conference with an 11-5 record. They won the SoCon Tournament championship with wins over The Citadel, Georgia Southern and Western Carolina.
Texas (23-10) -- The Longhorns finished tied for third in the Big 12 with an 11-7 record. Junior forward Jonathan Holmes was their leading scorer with 13.0 ppg, and he averaged 7.2 rpg. Freshman guard Isaiah Taylor averaged 12.5 ppg and a team-best 3.9 apg, while sophomore center Cameron Ridley led Texas with 8.1 rpg. The Longhorns had a seven-game winning streak in January and early February, beating No. 8 Iowa State, No. 22 Kansas State, No. 24 Baylor and No. 6 Kansas consecutively.
Arizona State (21-11) -- The Sun Devils ended the season tied for third in the Pac-12 with a 10-8 record. ASU is led by sophomore guard Jahii Carson (18.6 ppg, 4.5 apg) and senior guard Jermaine Marshall (15.0 ppg). The Sun Devils had quality victories over No. 25 Marquette in November and No. 2 Arizona in February.
The Midwest Regional will be played March 28-30 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. The Final Four is scheduled for Saturday and Monday, April 5-7, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach John Beilein
On the team's No. 2 seed and first-round draw ... "The seed is not really a big thing. People talk about No. 1, 2, 3 or 4-seeds, but none of us coaches really care about that, at least this coach doesn't. Just like the 13, 14, 15, 16 seeds, we just want to be in this tournament. We're playing a good Wofford team in the Southern Conference. They've had Davidson in there like crazy, and we all know how good Davidson has been in the NCAA Tournament."
On facing former player Darris Nichols, an assistant for Wofford College ... "Darris was one of the smartest, brightest point guards I have ever had. Now I really wish he didn't understand our offense at all, but he knows everything about us so we have a challenge with a guy on the other bench that knows a lot about what we do."
On the rest of the field in the Midwest Region of the bracket ... "I didn't notice those other teams. I did notice who we'd be playing next if we were fortunate enough to win, and I believe it was Texas and Arizona State, so two good friends of mine in (Texas Coach) Rick (Barnes) and (Arizona State Coach) Herb (Sendek). We've got to beat Wofford first because they do a really good job with that team."
U-M Sophomore Guard Nik Stauskas
On the team's seeding and how it reflects the work of Coach Beilein ... "Coach Beilein has turned this program into a place where we expect to be in this tournament every single year regardless of what happens. Having a No. 2 seed is great, we've worked extremely hard for it, and we're excited."
On what to expect between now and the first game of the tournament to prepare mentally and physically ... "We'll probably have a day of rest tomorrow, after this three-game stretch, and we'll look straight forward to the next game and start watching film and preparing."
On how he would describe U-M's identity if he were an opponent facing the Wolverines ... "As far as our offense goes, I think we're a very efficient team. We have a lot of guys who are capable of scoring, passing and driving. Defensively, we've shown weaknesses at times, and I think we have room to improve there."
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734-763-4423)