Friday, March 1, 2024

Michigan basketball will host Toledo in NIT opener

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Update, 11:22 p.m.: The initial NIT bracket released by the NIT incorrectly had Michigan as a 2 seed and Vanderbilt as a 3 in the same region. Vanderbilt is in the fact the 2 and Michigan is the 3, meaning a potential second-round matchup between the teams would be at Vanderbilt.

Despite missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time in eight years, the Michigan men’s basketball team will continue playing. The Wolverines earned a 2 seed in the NIT and will host Toledo at Crisler Center on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2).

The 32-team field was announced on Sunday night.

Michigan has a 17-15 record, having gone 11-9 in the Big Ten during the regular season before losing in its Big Ten Tournament opener against Rutgers on Thursday. That loss essentially eliminated Michigan from NCAA Tournament contention.

In the single-elimination NIT, the better seeds have the opportunity to host until the semifinals, which along with the championship will be held in Las Vegas for the first time. Previously, the final three games were at Madison Square Garden in New York.

See also: What went wrong for Michigan basketball this season?

Should Michigan beat Toledo, the Wolverines would host the winner of 3 seed Vanderbilt and Yale. Clemson is the 1 seed in Michigan’s eight-team region. See the entire bracket here.

Toledo is 27-7. The Rockets went 16-2 to win the Mid-American Conference regular-season title but lost to Kent State in the league tournament championship game on Saturday night. Michigan hosted Toledo two seasons ago early in the regular season and won 91-71.

The Wolverines’ last NIT appearance was in 2007, when they won a game before losing at Florida State. Michigan lost in the championship the year before and won it in 2004.

The program also won the title in 1997 and 1984 and has 10 total appearances in the event, which gives automatic bids to regular-season conference champions that failed to earn NCAA Tournament invitations.

This year, the top seeds are Clemson, Rutgers, Oklahoma State, and Oregon. North Carolina declined an invitation.

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