The Michigan Wolverines are the No. 8 seed in the West Region of the NCAA Tournament, where they'll face Tennessee in the first round. Michigan made a strong showing in the Big Ten Tournament, losing to eventual champion Ohio State in the semifinal on Saturday, 68-61.
Going into the 2010-11 season, Michigan had a team with zero seniors and very few players with any in-game experience. The Wolverines' ceiling appeared to be the NIT, especially after they started 1-6 in the Big Ten. The season was headed down the wrong path, and some people were even calling for head coach John Beilein's head.
That's when Michigan went to East Lansing and upset rival Michigan State. The surprising victory kicked off a stretch where the Wolverines won eight of their final 11 regular season games, and it got on them on the path to go back to the NCAA tournament.
The last time the Wolverines were in the Big Dance was two seasons ago. (They upset Clemson in the first round and were eliminated by Blake Griffin and Oklahoma in the second round.) Michigan returns to the NCAA tournament with a much different cast of players, including star freshman Tim Hardaway Jr. He was red hot during the final part of the regular season and, along with fellow freshman Jordan Morgan, will play a big role in how far this year's NCAA tournament run lasts.
Record: 20-13, 10-10
Key wins: Nov. 10 at Clemson (69-61), Dec. 4 vs. Harvard (65-62), Dec. 18 vs. Oakland (69-51), Jan. 27 at Michigan State (61-57), and March 5 vs. Michigan State (70-63).
Key losses: Jan. 15 at Indiana (80-61) and Jan. 18 at Northwestern (74-60).
Players to watch: Guard Darius Morris, guard Tim Hardaway Jr., and forward Jordan Morgan.