Zak Irvin 'grateful' for NCAA Tournament opportunity

Michigan forward Zak Irvin spoke with reporters on Sunday after the Wolverines made the NCAA Tournament.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Now that the guessing and the admiring of schedule toughness is over, Michigan was able to advance to the NCAA Tournament once the dust settled. With a play-in game against Tulsa on Wednesday, the survive and advance mentality is on.

With the Wolverines set to fight for its tournament lives this week, U-M forward Zak Irvin is appreciative of the chance to be in the tournament. Being part of a play in game does not bother the team at all.

"Not at all," Irvin said. "All we wanted was an opportunity, that's all that you need, we're just grateful to the committee for letting us be in the tournament. We'll just be ready to play on Wednesday."

There was nervousness surrounding the program on Sunday as its tournament hopes were hanging by a thread. Leading up to the selection show, a leaked bracket that showed up online was being checked off one-by-one by some members of the Wolverines squad.

Despite all of that, Irvin remained optimistic of his team's post season chances.

"Little bit of butterflies, nervous and excitement at the same time," Irvin said. "I'm a pretty optimistic guy so I felt like we were going to the tournament and we ended up being in there. Obviously we got to see the leaked bracket which calmed the nerves a little bit."

The Wolverines have fought through adversity all season. With mounting injuries and tough losses, the team has secured a spot in the tournament after missing any type of post season tournament the year prior. With a play in game to go Dayton, the team is once again facing adversity and a long road ahead of them.

Nothing the Wolverines can't overcome, Irvin says.

"It's a great opportunity," Irvin said. "With all the adversity that we've been through and all the ups and downs we've had. For the committee to see that, we're so grateful for this. We didn't care where they put us, we're a dangerous seed no matter where they put us at. We can't wait to get back to work tomorrow."

As far as the Wolverines' next opponent, Irvin is not familiar with what Tulsa has to offer. He says the team will get to work tomorrow.

"Nothing at all," Irvin said. "We've just got to watch the film tomorrow, we're grateful for the opportunity that we have."


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