Michigan Is Back In The NCAA Tourney

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Manny Harris was so euphoric about Michigan earning an NCAA tournament bid, he told reporters the team's security code for its locker room.
"We're going to have to switch now, I was too happy," Harris said Sunday night. "I've got to tell coach."
Wolverines coach John Beilein chuckled when Harris relayed the story of his honest mistake along the sideline at Crisler Arena, where the public was invited to watch the selection show with coaches and players.
It created a dramatic scene. Three regions were unveiled before the Wolverines found out they were a 10th-seeded team with a first-round matchup against seventh-seeded Clemson.
"I was real nervous, especially with all these people here," Harris said. "This means a lot for our program and ourselves.
"We made our own history."
Not long ago, Michigan's program was in shambles.
"Of all the challenges I faced when I came in here, this is the one that feels the best to have gotten over and brought this program back," athletic director Bill Martin said. "It was so hard.
"You can imagine when the stigma and cloud was hanging over the program from the Ed Martin episode, that didn't help us in recruiting."
Ed Martin, a now-deceased former booster, told the federal government he lent $616,000 to ex-Wolverines Chris Webber, Maurice Taylor, Robert Traylor and Louis Bullock in what the NCAA said was the largest financial scandal in its history.
Probation, lackluster coach Brian Ellerbe, outdated facilities and apathy from a fan base and administration consumed by the football program led to an NCAA basketball tournament drought that lasted longer than a decade.
But in Beilein's second season, the Wolverines won 20 times -- including against Duke, UCLA and Purdue -- to earn an NCAA tournament bid.
Beilein said he planned to savor the accomplishment before watching film of Clemson at his house on Monday night.
"I might go home, pour myself a nice cold beer," Beilein said, "sit back and maybe just glance at Clemson's roster and look at their stats. And relax a little bit."
If the Wolverines (20-13) can get past Clemson (23-8) in the South on Thursday in Kansas City, Mo., they will likely face No. 2 Oklahoma in the second round.


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