Michigan has made 22 straight NCAA tournament appearances but hasn't won a championship since way back in 1998. The Wolverines did come agonizingly close last year, as they lost in overtime in the title game to Minnesota Duluth. Their first step to getting over that hump and getting their first title in 14 years comes on Friday as they face Cornell's Big Red, who scraped their way into the bracket by beating Colgate in the conference third-place game to secure an at-large bid.
The Big Red have experience in the tournament, being an ECAC representative in the tournament seven times in the last 11 seasons. They are young and gritty but not quite as talented overall as the Wolverines. Their ECAC Rookie of the Year-winning forward Brian Ferlin will miss Friday's game because of an injury, which is a blow to the offense with Hobey Baker Award finalist Shawn Hunwick between the pipes for Michigan.
The Wolverines will be determined to get back to the championship game after the disappointment of last season. Cornell will need to bring their best game to keep up.
Game Time: March 23, 9 p.m. ET