Michigan will make its 2012 Big Ten tournament debut on Friday with its highest ever seed in the history of this event. The Wolverines rose to the second seed in the tournament thanks to a strong finish to the season that earned them a share of the Big Ten title, their first since 1986.
On Friday, Michigan will face the 10th-seeded Minnesota Golden Gophers. They were the only lower seed to advance on Thursday during the first round of the tournament, and they did so with a 75-68 overtime victory over Northwestern. The Wildcats were desperate for a win to strengthen their shot at an NCAA tournament berth, but Minnesota played the role of spoiler by taking down Northwestern in overtime.
Michigan and Minnesota met once during the regular season. You have to go all the way back to New Year's Day for the game, which Michigan won at home by a score of 61-56. The Wolverines led most of the way, but Minnesota hung around to make things interesting. In the end, Trey Burke was too much for Minnesota to handle, as he scored 27 points to lead Michigan to victory.
If the Wolverines win on Friday, they will advance to play Ohio State or Purdue in the second semifinal on Saturday. A matchup with Ohio State would be their third in three years in the Big Ten tournament and a rematch of one of the semifinals from last year's Big Ten tournament. The Boilermakers would also provide an interesting matchup, as they are the only team to beat Michigan in the last month (a 75-61 victory on Feb. 25) and the only road team to win at Crisler Center this season.
Friday's game between Michigan and Minnesota will tip off at 6:30 p.m. ET. Big Ten Network will have the broadcast.
For more, check out the 2012 Big Ten tournament bracket and our StoryStream. For more on the Michigan Wolverines, go to Maize n Brew. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NCAA Basketball hub at SBNation.com/NCAA-Basketball.