Mar 1, 2012; Champaign, IL, USA; Michigan Wolverines guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (10) reacts after an Illinois Fighting Illini turnover during the second half at Assembly Hall. Michigan won 72-61. Mandatory Credit: Bradley Leeb-US PRESSWIRE
Michigan earned a split of the Big Ten regular season title and comes into March Madness as a dangerous team.
Like their rivals Ohio State and Michigan State, the Michigan Wolverines put together a strong resume in the regular season, earning a share of the Big Ten title. In a way, Michigan has Ohio State to thank for its share of the Big Ten title -- after all, it was the Buckeyes' win over the Spartans in the last game of the regular season that created a logjam atop the standings.
But regular-season crown or not, Michigan made it into the NCAA Tournament by virtue of a solid resume built throughout the schedule. As the No. 4 seed in the Midwest, they'll face No. 13 Ohio in the second round.
Michigan made it through the non-conference schedule relatively unscathed, with a seven-point loss to Duke, and somewhat surprising losses to Virginia and Arkansas, the latter of which occurred during an out-of-conference game in the middle of the conference slate. In Big Ten play, the Wolverines lost five times, falling to Iowa, Ohio State, Michigan State and Purdue. Only one of those losses -- to the Boilermakers -- came at home, however.
The Wolverines entered the 2012 Big Ten Tournament as the No. 2 seed and received a bye to the quarterfinals, where they defeated the No. 10 Minnesota Golden Gophers. They fell to the No. 3 seed Ohio St. Buckeyes in the semifinals and did not manage to make it to the Championship Game, but their dominant season still earned them a spot in the dance.
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