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Big Ten Tournament bracket set, Michigan to open on Friday

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The Wolverines know who might be their Friday opponent.

Illinois v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The 2021 Big Ten Tournament bracket is now official with the completion of the regular season on Sunday afternoon. The Michigan Wolverines locked themselves into the No. 1 seed by winning the regular season conference title and will open on Friday at 12:30 p.m. ET against the winner of the game between Maryland and Michigan State.

Either opponent that the Wolverines play Friday will be one that they have seen for the third time this season. They swept the season series from Maryland and split with Michigan State. Should Michigan advance, it would set up a rematch with either Minnesota, Northwestern or Ohio State on Saturday afternoon in Indianapolis.

Here is the full bracket heading in this week’s action, which kicks off with a pair of games on Wednesday.

(Wednesday, Thursday, Friday on Big Ten Network, Saturday and Sunday on CBS)

First Round (Wednesday)

13. Minnesota vs. 12. Northwestern, 7:30 p.m.

14. Nebraska vs. 11. Penn State, 25 minutes after the previous game ends

Second Round (Thursday)

9. Michigan State vs. 8. Maryland, 12:30 p.m.

Minnesota/Northwestern vs. 5. Ohio State, 25 minutes after the previous game ends

10. Indiana vs. 7. Rutgers, 7:30 p.m.

Nebraska/Penn State vs. 6. Wisconsin, 25 minutes after the previous game ends

Quarterfinals (Friday)

MSU/Maryland vs. No. 1 Michigan, 12:30 p.m. ET

Minnesota/Northwestern/Ohio State vs. No. 4 Purdue, 25 minutes after the previous game ends

Indiana/Rutgers vs. No. 2 Illinois, 7:30 p.m.

Nebraska/Penn State/Wisconsin vs. No. 3 Iowa, 25 minutes after the previous game ends

Semifinals (Saturday)

Championship Game (Sunday)

The Wolverines finished the regular season with a record of 19-3 and 14-3 in conference play. Its three losses on the season came against Minnesota on Jan. 16, Illinois on March 2 and Michigan State this past Sunday. The biggest storyline heading into the postseason is the health of senior guard Eli Brooks, who hurt his ankle in Sunday’s loss to MSU and was seen in a walking boot.

Michigan has to regain its mojo after teetering a bit at the end of the season. They still seem like a safe bet to be a one-seed in the NCAA Tournament, but a quick exit from the Big Ten tourney could shake things up a bit. We will have to wait and see how Michigan responds to its biggest test of the Juwan Howard era to this point. The work begins this week in Indianapolis.