Although the Michigan Wolverines haven’t had the staying power of some other powerhouse programs, they have had stretches of great success. With several Final Four appearances and a few championship game appearances, Michigan has had plenty of time in the spotlight and established themselves as a significant program.
Michigan won their championship back in 1989. They entered the NCAA Tournament as a #3 seed and reached the championship game by running a gauntlet that included #14 seed Xavier, #11 seed South Alabama, #2 seed North Carolina, #5 seed Virginia, and #1 seed Illinois. The championship game was played on April 3 in Seattle against the #3 seed Seton Hall Pirates. The game went to OT and Michigan won 80-79. Glen Rice set an NCAA Tournament record by scoring 184 points during the NCAA Tournament and he was named the MVP of the 1989 NCAA Tournament.
After 1998, the Wolverines struggled and didn’t make another NCAA Tournament appearance until 2009 (however Michigan did win the National Invitation Tournament in 2004.) Since returning 2009, Michigan has made the NCAA Tournament 5 times in the last 6 years. Their most successful tournament during this period came in 2013 when they received an at-large bid as a #4 seed. After breezing past South Dakota State and VCU in their first two games, the Wolverines took the #1 seed Kansas Jayhawks to OT in the Sweet Sixteen and won 87-85. Michigan beat the #3 seed Florida Gators by a 20-point margin in the Elite Eight and edged out Syracuse in the Final Four to make it to the championship game. Michigan lost the championship game to the Louisville Cardinals by a score of 82-76. Michigan’s point guard Trey Burke was an All-American and the Naismith college basketball national player of the year.
Michigan Wolverines Recent NCAA Tourament History
Michigan’s most recent NCAA Tournament appearance came in 2014. After struggling at the beginning of the season in their non-conference games, the Wolverines did well in Big Ten play and received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament as a #2 seed in the Midwest Region. Michigan breezed past the #15 seed Wofford Terriers and the #7 seed Texas Longhorns in the first two rounds and squeezed past the #11 seed Tennessee Volunteers by a score of 73-71 in the Sweet Sixteen. In the Elite Eight, Michigan played against a hot Kentucky Wildcats team and lost 75-72.