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Posted on Sun, Mar 13, 2011 : 6:19 p.m.

Michigan basketball team will play Tennessee in first round of NCAA tournament

By Michael Rothstein


Members of the Michigan basketball team react as they see the Wolverines are a No. 8 seed and will face ninth-seeded Tennessee on Friday.

Melanie Maxwell |

Thumbnail image for johnbeilein.jpg

Michigan basketball coach John Beilein and the Wolverines are back in the NCAA tournament.

The Michigan basketball team is headed back to the NCAA tournament.

After sitting on the proverbial bubble for most of the last three weeks, the Wolverines saw their names appear on the CBS Selection Show telecast for the second time in three years. They're a No. 8 seed and will face No. 9 Tennessee in Charlotte, N.C., at 12:40 p.m. on Friday.

Michigan held a selection show party at Crisler Arena, where renovations have already started. About half of the maize seats in the upper bowl have been ripped out.

The assembled crowd, mostly students, filled about four lower bowl sections of Crisler. When Michigan coach John Beilein was greeted by a standing ovation when he walked into the arena.

In his 19 years as a Division I head coach, Beilein has made the NCAA tournament six times, including twice in four seasons at Michigan. In those games, he is 7-5 with a Sweet 16 and Elite Eight appearance.

This year’s Michigan team has just three players — guards Zack Novak, Stu Douglass and Corey Person — who experienced the 2009 NCAA tournament in Kansas City. The Wolverines beat Clemson before losing to Oklahoma.


  • Record: 19-14.
  • Conference: Fifth place (8-8) in Southeastern Conference.
  • Common opponent: Tennessee lost to Oakland, 89-82, on Dec. 14. Michigan beat the Grizzlies, 69-51, four days later.
  • Last 10 games: 4-6, including an SEC tournament quarterfinal loss to Kentucky.
  • Best win: Won at then-No. 3 Pittsburgh, 83-76, on Dec. 11.
  • Leaders: Scotty Hopson (6-7, jr., G) 17.4 ppg; Tobias Harris (6-8, fr., F) 15.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg; Cameron Tatum (6-6, jr., G) 8.9 ppg; Melvin Goins (5-11, sr., G) 8.1 ppg, 2.8 apg; Brian Williams (6-10, sr., C) 7.0 ppg; 7.7 rpg.
  • NCAA history: This is the Volunteers’ sixth straight appearance. They are 10-7 all-time in first round games, 4-1 under current head coach Bruce Pearl. They’ve never played Michigan in the tournament.
  • Closer to home: It’s a four-hour drive (230 miles) from the Tennessee campus to Charlotte, N.C., site of Friday’s game. About 650 miles separate Ann Arbor and Charlotte.

This is Michigan’s 22nd NCAA tournament appearance — the 18th officially recognized by the school due to NCAA sanctions — and the Wolverines have an overall record of 42-20 (35-16 when adjusted for sanctions).

Michigan has won first-round games the past two times it reached the NCAA tournament, beating Clemson, 62-59, in 2009 and knocking off Davidson, 80-61, in 1998.

This year’s Michigan team climbed into the NCAA tournament by finishing 20-13 after starting the Big Ten season 1-6. The Wolverines went 8-4 over the final 12 games of their season, including a sweep of Michigan State and top 50 wins over Penn State and Illinois.

The Wolverines have been led by freshman guard Tim Hardaway Jr., who is scoring 13.9 points a game, and sophomore point guard Darius Morris, who was named a third-team All-Big Ten performer and Michigan’s leading scorer at 15.2 points a game.

Morris is also one of the nation’s top assist men, averaging 6.67 a game.

Michael Rothstein covers Michigan basketball for He can be reached at (734) 623-2558, by e-mail at or follow along on Twitter @mikerothstein.



Mon, Mar 14, 2011 : 2:17 p.m.

What time is the game? Come on Ann Arbor.Com - basic journalism.


Mon, Mar 14, 2011 : 5:37 p.m.

thank you

Jim Knight

Mon, Mar 14, 2011 : 2:28 p.m.

Useless: We added the game time to the story. Thanks.

Disco D

Mon, Mar 14, 2011 : 1:52 p.m.

ESPN pundits are picking the Vols. Prove them wrong. Go Blue!


Mon, Mar 14, 2011 : 12:41 p.m.

..congrats Wolverines! now go out, play ball and have Fun! ..yeeeaaahh.. Go Blue! v


Mon, Mar 14, 2011 : 12:01 p.m.

The irony of these matchings... Michigan could face Duke for the first time in the NCAA tourney,since the FAB FIVE in the early 90's... either way it goes these young Wolverines have surpassed my expectations,they should have some great experiences while there,and most of all a whole lot of fun for these young guys... Theo like your call on the scores, how cool would that be... GO BLUE..


Mon, Mar 14, 2011 : 4:10 a.m.

Where did the recliners come from, and why were they not blue? One other thing, if we were resigned to an NIT game and we hosted it, how smart was ripping out those seats already? You can't deliver a pizza without a car to get it there.


Mon, Mar 14, 2011 : 3:37 a.m.

Win or go home baby!

Jake Church

Mon, Mar 14, 2011 : 2:41 a.m.

Walking Joe, why would you even comment on this post then. Go blue let's go get a win!


Mon, Mar 14, 2011 : 12:17 p.m.

I comment because I want people to know there are those of us who don't live and die "March Madness" and get a little weary of all the hype about it. It seems like that is the only news story this time of year. Sorry if I offended anyone.


Mon, Mar 14, 2011 : 12:40 a.m.

The only reason I will be even mildly interested in this basketball game is my in-laws are insufferable Tennessee fans. Otherwise I could care less about Michigan Basketball. However when you're talking Michigan Hockey and the CCHA Championship next weekend it's Go Blue!


Mon, Mar 14, 2011 : 2:29 a.m.

I always find it funny that someone who doesn't care, cares enough to comment on the article. Typically, if I don't care, I don't even waste my time reading the article. Must be nice having the time to waste on things that you don't care about. I don't have the time to fit in all of the things that I do care about. Enjoy the game on Friday.


Mon, Mar 14, 2011 : 2:23 a.m.

I guess we can agree to care less. :)


Mon, Mar 14, 2011 : 2:19 a.m.

"Otherwise I could care less about Michigan Basketball" Now that's poetic justice because I could care less about what you care about!


Mon, Mar 14, 2011 : 12:26 a.m.

Did you hear the news out of Aspen? Two MSU football players were arrested for drinking and fighting at a bar. They fled from officers on the scene and one of them was subdued with a stungun. Yeesh...

NC Wolverine 20

Mon, Mar 14, 2011 : 12:02 a.m.

I'm there. When is the game? How do I buy tickets? Go Blue!


Sun, Mar 13, 2011 : 11:52 p.m.

Go Blue! The whole vibe of Michigan athletics has changed in the last couple of months. It's as if the Earth has righted itself and UM is back to being UM again in all sports. Dump the Vols! It's GREAT to be a Michigan Wolverine!!!


Sun, Mar 13, 2011 : 11:40 p.m.

Congratulations guys! You deserve this... Go Blue!


Sun, Mar 13, 2011 : 11:38 p.m.

Sink the Pearl. Go Blue!


Sun, Mar 13, 2011 : 11:34 p.m.

Has anybody seen the game time on Friday?

Jim Knight

Mon, Mar 14, 2011 : 2:28 p.m.

It's a 12:40 p.m. tip, johnnya2


Mon, Mar 14, 2011 : 12:53 p.m.



Sun, Mar 13, 2011 : 11:27 p.m.

Michigan 71 tennessee 64 Michigan 75 duke 74


Sun, Mar 13, 2011 : 11:18 p.m.

Cue insufferable UM fans complaining & whining about State getting a better seed 1-2-3.... so predictable.


Sun, Mar 13, 2011 : 11:32 p.m.

Irony, its a beautiful thing. Oh no I checked. But if you look back and check the comments, there's already complaints about how much more "much favorable" State's draw was than UM. Again, it's the old cliche: once UM starts to win and do decently, it suddenly becomes a debate on the "quality" of the win. Just be happy to make it, is my point.


Sun, Mar 13, 2011 : 11:22 p.m.

You should probably check the bracket before commenting; MSU is a 10 seed, Michigan is an 8 seed. The previous comment is referring to how those seeds actually play on in the bracket and potential 2nd game matchups.


Sun, Mar 13, 2011 : 11:16 p.m.

Michigan got hosed. They beat MSU twice this season. Had a better in conference and overall record and MSU was seriously in jeopardy of not making it to the dance. Yet, MSU's bracket position is much favorable that UM.


Sun, Mar 13, 2011 : 11:58 p.m.

Seedings and complaining about them are really not worthy of discussion. The fact is a 16 seed is THE EXACT same pairing as a 1 seed. a 15 seed is a 2 seed. The committee does not look and say, how can we make MSU's life easier and UM's harder. A 10 seed is better than an 8 seed, but Colorado was projected a 10 seed, and they are not in the dance. IF UM beats Tenn and Duke, they play the same games that the number one seed would have. As an analysis, I think UM can beat any team in the field, BUT could easily lose to any as well.


Sun, Mar 13, 2011 : 11:47 p.m.

Same reason UM football got a New Year's Day bowl game despite sub par season.


Sun, Mar 13, 2011 : 11:20 p.m.

Big Brothers get served first, little sisters get seconds.


Sun, Mar 13, 2011 : 11:02 p.m.

I figured we'd be a 10 seed, but who knew? I don't know how Michigan State made it, though, as they limped to the finish line. If it were me, I'd have put Harvard in there and left out the 11th Big East team or something like that. I think Tenn is a good draw for Michigan. They are a flawed team and can be exploited by Beilein's offense (if the threes are falling). Duke in the second round will be tough for either of those teams.


Sun, Mar 13, 2011 : 10:52 p.m.

It was really cute seeing all the Walverine's jumping up and down qualifying for a tournament that includes 68 teams. And you all laugh at MSU's 7-5 football seasons.... Win vs. Tennessee, 10+ pt. loss to Duke. Overall, a good season. Look forward to the 'rivalry' becoming more competitive over the coming years. GO GREEN! GO BLUE! and GO BIG TEN!


Sun, Mar 13, 2011 : 11:55 p.m.

It was really cute seeing all the Walverine's jumping up and down qualifying for a tournament that includes 68 teams. At an 8 seed, we would've actually made a tournament that only included 32 teams.


Sun, Mar 13, 2011 : 11:41 p.m.

To above poster, So, "flukes" run both ways, I guess. And sometimes even a blind squirrel finds a nut. BTW, Congrats on the great "season", UM basketball!


Sun, Mar 13, 2011 : 11:35 p.m.

Yes, but when MSU's football team had their 7-5 seasons they didn't beat Michigan twice during the regular season. Come to think of it, they rarely beat them once (except when the clock operator gave MSU extra time, a tripping penalty wasn't called, etc.).


Sun, Mar 13, 2011 : 11:14 p.m.

It really serves no purpose to act childish about a basketball game. C'est la vie.


Sun, Mar 13, 2011 : 11:08 p.m.

I don't know that I see anything wrong with a group made up of mostly freshmen and sophomores celebrating a birth to the NCAA tournament. Especially, considering that they were expected to finish near the bottom of the Big Ten. This is a team that deserves praise. Of course, I do understand this coming from an MSU fan who's team was the preseason #2 and had aspirations of being Big Ten Champs and a #1 seed, only to be left sitting there like Colorado, hoping to hear their team announced. I am with you on one thing, though. I also hope that the Spartys will be able to compete with Michigan in the coming years.


Sun, Mar 13, 2011 : 10:41 p.m.

Well, I do think an 8 seed is a little ridiculous, but looking at these selections the seeding seems to be odd all around. Whatever. An 8 seed gives us a better chance of sticking around the Tournament. UTK worries me, though, because they are so up and down, you never know which one will show up.


Sun, Mar 13, 2011 : 10:34 p.m.

The complaints for the high seed are already rolling in. Prove 'em wrong guys. Congrats on the NCAA bid. Go Blue!!