U-M 4th Seed, Will Face Illinois Friday

The University of Michigan men's basketball team earned a first-round bye for the fourth time and will be the fourth seed in the upcoming Big Ten Tournament.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team earned a first-round bye for the fourth time and will be the fourth seed in the upcoming Big Ten Tournament. The Wolverines will face No. 5 seed Illinois in the quarterfinals on Friday (March 11) at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind.

Michigan's game against Illinois will be 25 minutes following Ohio State taking on the winner of the Northwestern-Minnesota matchup at noon on ESPN. The Wolverines' game will also be televised on ESPN.

After winning eight of its last 10 games, U-M closed the regular season with a 19-12 overall mark and a 9-9 conference record, tying the Maize and Blue for fourth place along with Illinois, Michigan State and Penn State.

Using the Big Ten tie-breaking procedure, the Wolverines earned the No. 4 seed with a 4-1 combined record among all the tied teams. Illinois was the fifth seed with a 3-2 mark, while Penn State, No. 6 seed, and Michigan State, No. 7 seed, both finished 2-4 and had to go to a tie-breaker against Iowa to determine their seeding.

Michigan faced Illinois only once during the regular season. After the Wolverines nearly overcame a 10-point halftime deficit, they fell, 54-52, to the Fighting Illini on Feb. 16 in Champaign. Evan Smotrycz and Stu Douglass each had an opportunity to win the game for U-M in the final five seconds, but both attempts missed.

The Wolverines have a 0-2 record against Illinois in the Big Ten Tournament. U-M lost to No. 1 seed Illinois, 74-60, in the 2004 semifinal and dropped a 60-50 decision to No. 2 seed Illinois in the 2009 quarterfinal.

Michigan carries a 10-12 all-time record in the Big Ten Tournament, with a 6-11 mark after NCAA sanctions after vacating the 1998 tournament title. U-M also earned first-round byes in 1998, 2003 and 2005.


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