Michigan will be dancing in Wichita. [Marc-Gregor Campredon[
After the most inane bracket reveal in the history of television, we now know the NCAA Tournament bracket in full (pdf here). Michigan is the three-seed in the West region; they'll play Big Sky champion Montana on Thursday in Wichita.
UPDATE: Per Tony Paul of the Detroit News, Michigan will get the late tipoff on Thursday, approximately 9:50 pm ET.
While it rankles that Michigan State, also a three-seed, got the coveted placement in Detroit over their superior rivals, the Wolverines got the better draw. The Spartans get Kansas-Duke-Auburn as the 1-, 2-, and 4-seed in their region. Michigan drew Xavier (easily the weakest one-seed), North Carolina, and Gonzaga.
Even though Montana is the top-ranked 14-seed on KenPom, Michigan should match up well with them. The Grizzlies start two paint-bound bigs and rely heavily on forcing turnovers to spark their defense. They also lean hard on point guard Ahmaad Rorie, who gets to deal with Zavier Simpson.
Should the Wolverines avoid a massive upset, they'd draw the winner of Houston-San Diego State 6/11 game on Saturday. The Cougars rank 17th on KenPom, best of the six-seeds, but again the matchup looks decent on paper. The have an extreme high-usage point guard, Rob Gray, who'll draw Simpson. While they have a short, mobile frontcourt that should be able to switch against Michigan's offense, they're also quite small in the backcourt—three starters are 6'1" and no rotation player is taller than 6'8".
If the seeds hold to form, Michigan would then get a rematch with UNC in the Sweet Sixteen. That will undoubtedly be tough—you probably tried to forget the 86-71 loss in the Dean Dome—but the Wolverines have become a completely different team since then. Plus, John Beilein wiht a week to prepare against an opponent he's already seen and so on. The location is a bit of a bummer, but the draw could be a whole lot worse.
We'll have much more on the Montana game and potential future opponents this week, including a podcast we'll record tomorrow and post on Tuesday.