Michigan was able to grab a three-way tie for the regular-season title with Ohio State and Michigan State, which exceeded people’s expectations.
While the Wolverines are greatly improved, they may not be to the level of the fourth seed. This is a team that has a great amount of hustle. It has top-notch guards with Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. As a team, it plays solid defense and does a very good job at protecting the ball. The Wolverines really play like the typical Cinderella mid-major team you often see come March.
On the down side, most middle school teams could out rebound them. They rank 314th in the nation is rebounds. They are also 198th in points per game.
They rely far too much on the three-point shot. While it helps that they have often had to shoot their way back into games, it also means that when they are missing those long-range shots, they have no other way to get back into games. Their lack of frontcourt size will prove problematic in the tourney.
If it is hitting its three-pointers, this team could make some waves in the tournament. Keeping that hot a shooting streak for enough games to win it all is not likely, though. The Wolverines will show up on many experts' picks as an upset special in the first two rounds.
Their style of play has led to many close games this year. While it is good that they can win the close games or pull away in the final two minutes, it is also a sign of concern. The last thing a higher-seeded team wants to do is allow a lower-seeded team the hope of being close late in games.
While it might survive, this is not a team to pick to exceed its seeding.
PJ Sapienza is a featured columnist for the Detroit Red Wings and a writer of many other sports. You can also follow him on Twitter.
To read his most recent articles see:
What to make of the Michigan Wolverines
Why Don Cherry gets it wrong about the Red Wings
With Pavel Datsyuk out, these players need to step up
For your printable bracket for the 2012 NCAA tournament, click here
Stats and rankings via statsheet.com and teamrankings.com