Fourth-seeded Michigan to open NCAA tournament against South Dakota State

Dylan Burkhardt
on

Michigan 83, Penn State 66-22
Dustin Johnston

Michigan will open the NCAA tournament against South Dakota State on Thursday, March 21st at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Michigan’s game will be a part of Thursday’s second session at the Palace with tip off scheduled for 7:15 p.m. eastern on CBS. Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery and Rachel Nichols will handled the broadcast.

South Dakota State is rated the No. 101 team in the country by KenPom.com. The Jackrabbits tied for the Summit League regular season title with a 25-9 (13-3) record before winning the conference tournament.

Should Michigan advance to the round of 32, the Wolverines will face the winner of No. 5 seeded VCU and No. 12 seeded Akron.

Michigan was placed in the South regional, with regional games to be played at  Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The top seeds in the South region include No. 1 Kansas, No. 2 Georgetown, No. 3 Florida.

John Beilein has played NCAA tournament games at the Palace of Auburn Hills before. In 2006 he led No. 6 seeded West Virginia to wins over Southern Illinois and Northwestern State to advance to the Sweet 16.

Beilein has coached in the NCAA tournament eight times and this is his fourth tournament appearance in six seasons at Michigan. Beilein is 8-7 in NCAA tournament games including a Sweet 16 and Elite Eight appearance at West Virginia. Beilein is 2-3 at Michigan in tournament play and the Wolverines were upset last year in the round of 64 by 13th seeded Ohio University.

  • Kevin Dale

    Lets Go Blue!

  • Jeff

    Can’t complain about the draw. SDSU may be dangerous, but that’s what happens when you drop to a 4-seed. I think VCU is way overrated as a 5. They live off creating turnovers and we’re pretty good at preventing them. Also think Kansas is a week one seed. Oh yeah, and we’re in Auburn Hills. No excuses.

    • jemblue

      Agree, I think it’s a pretty good draw. Really looking forward to cheering us on in person!

      • robpollard

        Completely agree. Playing in Auburn Hills against teams that play into our strengths is as good as we could have possibly hoped. I’ll be really disappointed if we don’t make the sweet sixteen – this team has got it’s chance and I expect them to do it with this location/draw.

  • q-sac

    i’ll take it. i’d rather be a 4 in our region than a 3 in sparty’s.

  • Mattski

    Would like to see us get to the round of eight, but that might mean beating Kansas or North Carolina. Both have struggled this year but are playing some of their best ball down the stretch.

    • Mattski

      Would M’s first TWO games be at Auburn Hills?

      • jemblue

        Yep.

        • Mattski

          Cool. Well, I’ve been sticking up for these guys all year when they struggled. GOT to win two games, though, I believe.

  • NickUMFan

    Of course we get VCU in the next round… Very dangerous team

    • Mattski

      You gotta beat people to advance. Time for Michigan to silence some doubters.

      • Indiana_Matt

        You’re right. After the 1st round there are no easy games for anybody.

    • MGoTweeter

      I don’t like having to play them just bc of their recent program experience. But they are extremely feast or famine. If you don’t turn the ball over, they are not very good

  • q-sac

    can’t believe marquette jumped us for a 3 seed. weak. but yeah i still like our draw.

    • MikeInOhio

      Agree. Would love to know the rational

    • A2JD

      I’m not that impressed with New Mexico either.

    • Devin

      New Mexico had a better resume then Gonzaga. Seriously, stop and take a close look at New Mexico, they were a very good team this year. They had the most top 50 rpi wins out of any team in the country at 10.

  • arsenal926

    Watched SDSU play quite a few games this year. Nate Wolters is a complete beast and an NBA player but they don’t have any physically imposing players. 2nd best player is Dykstra who has a whole bunch of post moves that he uses to outsmart the other players in the Summit League . Look for McGary to use his physicality to dominate SDSU.

    Things I worry about would be Wolters penetrating and hitting shots. (they take alot of 3’s)
    and McGary/Horford getting in early foul trouble

    • Mattski

      Probably really helpful that we’re playing them at Auburn Hills; with Wolters in another venue the crowd really might boost SDSU.

      • arsenal926

        agreed but don’t be surprised to see quite a few SDSU fans at the Palace they travel great and are a huge deal in that state

        • gobluemd16

          SDSU

          • arsenal926

            I always get them confused

      • AG

        Unless MSU fans buy a ton of all-session passes. I’m worried, we got a ton of live dogs in our bracket.

  • gobluemd16

    Someone’s gotta stop Wolters, one of the top 3 scorers in college basketball he is amazing. They lost by 20+ at Minnesota and we are playing in Auburn Hills, which is good. Bad news: Great individual players dominate the tourney and they have one (but so do we). VCU is also super dangerous, but I actually like the matchup as long as we can limit turnovers (if we get there). They give up a TON of easy looks if you beat the press. No idea how Marquette passed us on the S-curve, ridiculous actually. Worse record, worse road record, lost first round of conference tourney too. However, they play Davidson and potentially Butler, which may be worse matchups actually.

    • ZRL

      Just checked Wolters’ stats. It looks like he didn’t play in their loss to Minnesota.

      • gobluemd16

        Yeah he didn’t. Sh*t. They also won @New Mexico which is quite impressive

        • Devin

          I watched them play at New Mexico. It was crazy, they had major travel issues before the game and still went into The Pit and won.

        • Indiana_Matt

          That is very impressive.

    • rlcBlue

      Marquette beat Wisconsin; we didn’t.

      That said, I don’t agree with their getting a 3-seed. The Big East was a tough conference this year; all 8 of their bids are deserved, but it feels like the committee gave them a 1, a 2, a 3, and a 4 seed just to match the Big Ten. I don’t think Marquette and Syracuse are the same caliber of team as us or State – and frankly I think Wisconsin would win a rematch with Marquette, too.

  • CDeSana

    Anyone else scared to death of VCU?

    • jemblue

      I actually would iike to play them. They want to play at a fast pace and that plays into our hands.

      • Josh

        I follow A10 all year. VCU vulnerable to good ball handling teams. Half court Off and Def are really average at best. KenPom is down, but look at Game Plan for VCU – they rely entirely on turning you over. Fun to look ahead, but not past S Dak St, but VCU and Kansas are good matchups – seed was always going to be irrelevant this year.

        • rlcBlue

          Agree – VCU is a better, deeper version of Arkansas. If we can avoid giving them the ball in the press, we can beat them. If not, they’ll kill us.

    • Indiana_Matt

      No.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mbainbridge2 Mike Bainbridge

    Normally would be confident with the draw, but with the way this team is playing I have no idea what to expect. I would probably pick an upset first round if wasnt a UM fan.

    • gobluemd16

      That’s how I feel, too. Honestly, I could easily see us losing to SDSU. Wolters get hot and we get tight, you know the rest. So disappointing that we are at the same seed line as last year from where we came from earlier in the season. Should definitely be a 3 (ahead of Marquette and Florida, actually), but I think the draw allows us to advance if we play up to our potential. Also, Kansas matchup isn’t as scary as it looks if we can get there

      • Mattski

        I do see it as a bit of an insult, especially if you consider the body of work across the season. I hope the team plays with a chip on its collective shoulder as a result.

        • wings45

          I have been hoping for that all season, yet they always seem to fall short. If they play with urgency and up to their potential, they can beat anyone. The problem is that they havent shown that they can, escpecially in pressure situations.

  • NickUMFan

    Wisconsin might have the best draw, I can see them in the Elite-8 and honestly, they could reach the Final Four. I’m not saying they’re that good but their region looks pretty weak compared to others.
    Also hoping Akron beats VCU, which is not a stretch. And if UofM plays like they did in NonConference, they can knock off Kansas.
    Praying for a Final Four game with the Fab Five sitting courtside!

    • AG

      Seriously? Wisconsin is playing a true road game vs. K-State.

      • Devin

        Seriously, Wisconsin matches well with K-state. But don’t over look Boise St.

      • NickUMFan

        Yes seriously, Wisconsin played a true road game at IU and won, had a winning road record in the Big Ten and beat UofM twice. Yes I seriously believe they can dominate win that region

  • Jeff

    It’s funny, we’re definitely more talented this year, but because of last year, everyone is giving the 4/13 matchup its due respect. Last year, I remember not being worried at all.

  • Tony

    Gotta get there first, but I do NOT like the idea of Michigan playing another big game at Cowboys Stadium!!!

  • ForeverBlue

    So does Burke defend Wolters? I’ve never seen him play, just comments here that he’s the second best PG in college. What are his strengths? Quick, slasher, shooter, etc?

    • q-sac

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DylmZMmPrk
      (appears that he, like stauskas, is more than just a shooter.)

    • MGoTweeter

      a little late on the reply and take this with a grain of your preferred salt, but he is a crafty scoring guard (not aaron craft(y)). He is not tremendously quick or a great athlete, but he handles the ball well and understands the game. Oh and he can shoot it. He has above average size for the position and uses his body well to create the necessary separation.

      It is hard to find a good comparison for him because for one he is a great player in his own right and two it always comes down to race which is unfair. That said, I heard one of the gameday crew compare him to Jimmer Freddette. I actually think that is reasonable with one big exception. That is that Wolters is not looking to shoot nearly as much. He is looking to create offense for the team much more. In that regard and again this is based off limited knowledge of only having seen him play a couple times, but I would compare him to Jose Calderon.

      In that he is a point guard with size and a good handle, that understands how to use both to finish and create against better athletes. He will be a very tough matchup for Michigan as his size will create problems for Burke and his ball handling will be tough for any of the other wings. If you are just game planning to stop him on offense or limit him, I would say put Burke on him with the understanding that he can shoot over him. But then you are perhaps limiting the Michigan offense by forcing Burke to guard him. I am guessing TH Jr draws the starting assignment and then based on game flow the team goes from there.

  • ambassadorbridge

    I want to see UM get its first crack at Carolina since the timeout 20 yrs ago. UM got a good draw despite the 4 seed and now it’s up to them to make things happen. Hope the SDSU game is at night so I can watch Trey Burke and Co. shut down this hot shot Wolters guy.

  • Webslinger26

    Any idea what session we’re playing in on Thursday?

    • http://www.umhoops.com/ Dylan Burkhardt

      Should be announced tonight.

  • robpollard

    Here’s something funny…I had to miss the live selection show, so I just brought up the ESPN bracket and it says, 4 MICH vs 13 SDST.

    I thought, “Those tricky b**tards. We’re playing Steve Fisher and San Diego State the year the Fab 5 can get out ‘jail’!”

    Then I come on here and see we’re playing South Dakota State. I’m sure they’re a fine team and we’ll have to play well to win, but I’ll take them 100 times over hearing about UM vs Steve Fisher.

  • hollaback

    If this team doesnt make it to the sweet 16 then they are a bunch of bums

    • Mattski

      We will quote you on this.

  • Mattbuckets

    not afraid of wolters, he is the kind of player and teams that Beilein and Michigan Eat up. As soon as this wolters kid speeds up the game, michigan will get the open looks it needs to win. Go Blue

    • tgio24

      I would be afraid..I’m not saying we cant/wont win because that would be ridiculous but Wolters IS the type of tourny player who could carry his team to upset wins

      • jemblue

        Are you responding to yourself? I’m confused.

        • tgio24

          No I was responding to “Mattbuckets”?

          • jemblue

            Never mind, now it’s formatted differently. At first it said that Mattbuckets was responding to himself.

          • rlcBlue

            A lot of college basketball-related sites are being overwhelmed at the moment. disqus is no exception.

  • gobluemd16

    If betting were legal, I would probably bet on SDSU +11.5. That line seems reeally high to be honest.

    • AG

      Its already been bet down to +11.

  • Dcgoblue44

    Not happy we drew the 715 start. I can just envision the scenario now of late arriving Sparty fans arriving for the 2nd half of our game and propelling sdst to an upset. Lets just hope this is my excessive pessimism from a terrible finish to the season at work and instead well ride a um friendly crowd, stauskas will hit everything, Tim will play nba d w all of the scouts watching him against Wolters and our big man will dominate the boards for once against their small lineup. Jordan coming back and playing like he did pre injury I think is the key to sustained run. I know his ankle is bum but when did that turn players into stone handed clutzez?!!

    Here’s to that second scenario…

    • http://www.umhoops.com/ Dylan Burkhardt

      MSU plays at noon.