The Wolverines open the tournament on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. against the No. 9 seed Indiana Hoosiers. Michigan has had a lot of success in opening Big Ten Tournament games; in fact, you have to go back to 2006 to find the last time Michigan lost its opening game.
The Wolverines have also found a lot of recent success as the No. 8 seed in this tournament. In 2016, Michigan needed two wins to feel comfortable getting into the NCAA Tournament. The Wolverines defeated Northwestern in the first round in overtime, and took down the top seeded Indiana Hoosiers in the quarterfinals on a buzzer beater by Kam Chatman.
In 2017, Michigan went on a historic run after its plane to Washington D.C. slid off the runway and won the Big Ten Tournament as the 8 seed, the lowest seed to ever win the tournament. The Wolverines defeated Illinois (No. 9 seed), Purdue (No. 1 seed), Minnesota (No. 4 seed) and Wisconsin (No. 2 seed) en route to John Beilein’s first conference tourney title.
If Michigan beats Indiana, it will play the No. 1 seed in the tournament on Friday at 11:30 a.m., the Illinois Fighting Illini.
After the big victory against Ohio State, Michigan is pretty firmly in the tournament in most national bracket projections. Still, a couple wins in Indy wouldn’t hurt.