Michigan basketball team gets a No. 4 seed, plays No. 13 Ohio on Friday
This story was updated at 7:55 p.m.
The Michigan basketball team is headed to Nashville, Tenn.
And it'll be playing Ohio.
No, not that Ohio. The Ohio Bobcats of the Mid-American Conference.
"We're playing Ohio University now," said coach John Beilein, who has joined Michigan football coach Brady Hoke in referring to Ohio State as 'Ohio.'
"It's a great university down in Athens, Ohio."
The Wolverines were given a No. 4 seed Sunday in the 2012 NCAA Tournament and will face the No. 13 Bobcats on Friday in Nashville during a second-round matchup in the Midwest Regional.
The game is scheduled to tip at 7:20 p.m. and will air on TNT.
The No. 4 seed is the highest the Michigan program has received since the Wolverines were a No. 3 in 1998. The Wolverines have now advanced to three NCAA Tournaments in four seasons.
Michigan is 3-0 all-time vs. Ohio.
Michigan has never been a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament. For Beilein, the No. 4 slot is the highest he's ever had. This will be Beilein's seventh tournament as a head coach.
After advancing to the round of 32 a year ago, Michigan will make its first back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearance since 1995-96.
"We haven't been to back-to-back tournaments in a long time, and it's great for the program," Michigan senior co-captain Zack Novak said. "The No. 4 seed, that's huge. We're one of the top 16 seeds in the country, and I think that speaks to the type of season we had.
"I like the position we're in."
After losing to Ohio State in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament on Saturday in Indianapolis, known "bracketologists" Jerry Palm, of CollegeRPI.com, and Joe Lunardi, of ESPN.com, both projected Michigan as a No. 3 seed.
That wasn't the case in the end, though, as the selection committee offered No. 3 seeds to Baylor, Florida State, Georgetown and Marquette. Michigan joined Indiana, Wisconsin and Louisville as No. 4 seeds.
The NCAA Tournament selection committee, for the first time ever, released how it rated the field of 68. Michigan finished at No. 13, the top No. 4 seed.
The Wolverines didn't care where they ended up, though, they're just glad to be back.
"When you're going through it as a player, having gone through it in a time when you don't see your name up there, you don't care where you're at," Novak said. "You just want to see Michigan flash up on the board."
Should Michigan (24-9) advance beyond Ohio, the Wolverines would play either No. 5 Temple or the No. 12 seed play-in winner, either California or South Florida.
The four top seeds in the Midwest bracket are No. 1 North Carolina, No. 2 Kansas, Georgetown and Michigan. Should the Wolverines advance to the second weekend of the tournament, they'd be sent to regional semifinal play in St. Louis.
The four No. 1 seeds in this year's tournament were Kentucky, Syracuse, North Carolina and Michigan State.
As for the Bobcats, the Wolverines say they know very little about their tournament opponent, but plan to figure out more soon.
The Bobcats finished 27-7 on the season and beat Akron, 64-63, on Saturday to claim the Mid-American Conference Tournament championship. Two years ago, Ohio made NCAA Tournament waves by upsetting Georgetown as a No. 14 seed.
"They seem like a great group and it's an honor to play them," Michigan sophomore Tim Hardaway Jr. said. "No one's bad going into the NCAA Tournament, everyone's good or great.
"We're looking for great competition."
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