Thursday, March 16, 2006

Michigan vs UTEP: Preview

The Michigan Wolverines begin postseason play tonight, when they tangle with the Texas-El Paso Miners in the first round of the NIT from Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor. The winner will take on either Vanderbilt or Notre Dame in the second round on March 20th.

NIT First Round

Thursday, March 16 • 7:00 p.m.
Crisler Arena • Ann Arbor, Mich.

Despite an 18-10 record, which includes several quality wins, the Wolverines were left out of the NCAA Tournament once again. Michigan, however, did earn a spot in the NIT for the ninth time in school history. The Wolverines have had a tremendous amount of success in this event, posting a 20-5 all-time record, including three championships. However, due to NCAA sanctions, Michigan had five of those 20 wins and its 1997 title wiped clean. Still, the last time the Wolverines participated in the NIT they won the championship, beating Rutgers in the final game in 2004.

As for UTEP, it began postseason play on Tuesday by easily defeating Lipscomb, 85-66, in the opening round of the NIT. It was the first postseason win in five years for the Miners, who improved to 21-9 overall and 6-8 all-time in this event. With regard to the all-time series, Michigan owns a 2-1 edge over UTEP, including a 74-65 triumph in the second round of the 1980 NIT.

More information:
NIT, Michigan basketball, Michigan/UTEP game notes

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