Michigan Earns NCAA No. 1 Seed, Will Open Against First-Four Winner
March 14, 2021
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team earned its 30th NCAA Tournament selection today (Sunday, March 14) and its first under U-M David and Meredith Kaplan Men's Basketball Head Coach Juwan Howard.
U-M is the No. 1 seed in the East Region and will begin the NCAA Tournament on Saturday (March 20) in the first round against the winner of Thursday's (March 18) First Four game between Mount St. Mary's (12-10) and Texas Southern (16-8). Site, time and television are to be announced.
The winner of Michigan's first-round game will meet the winner of No. 8 seed Louisiana State (18-9) and No. 9 seed St. Bonaventure (16-4) on Monday (March 22) for a spot in the Sweet 16.
Led by the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and All-Big Ten Conference first teamer Hunter Dickinson as well as All-Big Ten second teamers Isaiah Livers and Franz Wagner, the Wolverines won the 2021 Big Ten championship and enter the NCAA Tournament with a 20-4 overall record after falling in the Big Ten Tournament semifinal round, 68-67, to Ohio State on Saturday (March 13) at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
U-M is seeded No. 1 for the third time in program history. The Wolverines previously earned a top seed in 1985 and 1993* (* indicates vacated appearance).
Michigan is playing in its fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament dating back to 2016. The Wolverines have reached the Sweet 16 in each of the last three NCAA Tournaments and have a 61-28 all-time record in the Big Dance (54-24 after sanctions). U-M has earned a bid to nine of the last 10 NCAA Tournaments including the 2021 edition.
Howard is making his first NCAA Tournament appearance as a coach. U-M was poised to reach the tournament last season in Howard's first year before it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Howard was part of three NCAA Tournament teams as a player (1992*, '93* and '94), helping the Wolverines reach two Final Fours and three Elite Eights.
From arguably the strongest conference in the nation, Michigan is joined in the field of 68 by eight other Big Ten schools:
No. 1 seed Illinois (Midwest Region)
No. 2 seed Iowa (West Region)
No. 2 seed Ohio State (South Region)
No. 4 seed Purdue (South Region)
No. 9 seed Wisconsin (South Region)
No. 10 seed Rutgers (Midwest Region)
No. 10 seed Maryland (East Region)
No. 11 seed Michigan State (East Region)
The nine selections are the most all-time for the Big Ten, topping the eight selected in 2019. Seven of those eight won at least one game, including Michigan, which advanced to the Sweet 16.
In January, the NCAA announced that the 2021 tournament will be held within downtown Indianapolis (Lucas Oil Stadium, Bankers Life Fieldhouse) as well as at central Indiana arenas at Butler (Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis), Indiana (Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington), IUPUI (Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis) and Purdue (Mackey Arena in West Lafayette).
There were 31 automatic bids after the Ivy League canceled all winter sports due to COVID-19. The remaining 37 at-large bids were selected by the NCAA Selection Committee.
NCAA Tournament Schedule
Thursday, March 18
First Four (Mackey Arena, Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall)
Fri-Sat., March 19-20
First Round (Mackey Arena, Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Lucas Oil Stadium)
Sun-Mon., March 21-22
Second Round (Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Lucas Oil Stadium)
Sat-Sun., March 27-28
Sweet 16 (Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse)
Mon-Tue., March 29-30
Elite Eight (Lucas Oil Stadium)
Saturday, April 3
Final Four (Lucas Oil Stadium)
Monday, April 5
Championship Game (Lucas Oil Stadium)