March Madness: Here’s Who’s Playing from Michigan, and How to Watch

Southern California guard Boogie Ellis, left, draws the charge from Michigan State guard Jaden Akins (3) in the first half of a first-round college basketball game in the men's NCAA Tournament in Columbus, Ohio, Friday, March 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

By Isaac Constans

March 17, 2023

Your two-minute beginner’s guide to watching Michigan teams in the 2023 March Madness tournament.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—for college basketball fanatics, that is. Over the next few weeks, madness will ensue from March into April as 68 teams compete in both of the NCAA’s men’s and women’s tournaments.

Michigan is represented in both brackets, with the University of Michigan’s Wolverines having qualified among the women’s teams, and Michigan State University’s Spartans having qualified (for the 25th year in a row) in the men’s.

How does it work?
The tournament consists of head-to-head, single-elimination games that narrow the teams down to a national champion. The teams are grouped by regions and “seeds” based on their performance in the season so far.
From there, the tournament games determine the rest. If a team wins four games, it’ll be the last one standing in its region—sending them to the Final Four. Two more wins and that team takes the national championship.

Quick Michigan history facts:

The NCAA women’s college basketball tournament has continued in its current form since 1982. However, they’ve only followed the same “March Madness” format and selection process as the men’s tournament since 2022.

In 2005, MSU finished as runners up to Baylor in 2005. In 2022, U-M made it to the Elite Eight” for the first time in program history.

The NCAA men’s college basketball tournament began in 1939. MSU has won national titles in 1979 and 2000. U-M won a national championship in 1989.

Michigan State Spartans Men’s Basketball

Team Summary: The Spartans have had a tumultuous season, opening with two excellent showings against top-four opposition and concluding with a loss against lowly Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament.

The team comes in led by a balanced quartet of upper classmen: Malik Hall, a senior forward from Illinois; A.J. Hoggard, a junior guard from Pennsylvania; Joey Hauser, a sharpshooting senior forward from Wisconsin; and Tyson Walker, a diminutive point guard and team captain from New York.

The team enters the tournament as a seven seed in the East region against the University of South Carolina.

Round 1: Michigan State (19-12) vs. USC (22-10)

Location: Columbus, Ohio
Date and Time: Friday, March 17 at 12:15 p.m. ET
How to Watch: CBS, or via the March Madness app

UPDATE: MSU defeated USC 72-62. The Spartans will play against Marquette on Sunday.

Michigan Wolverines Women’s Basketball

Team Summary: The Wolverines made the Elite Eight last year for the first time in U-M history, and are returning with many of the players who got them there. One to watch is Leigha Brown, a guard who is one of three players in the country to average 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. The team has two other players scoring more than 16 points a game: Laila Phelia, a sophomore guard, and Emily Kiser, a fifth-year forward. But without Naz Hillmon, the program’s all-time leading rebounder, the Wolverines struggled to close the season on a high note.

The team enters the tournament as a six seed with a tough first-round matchup against a 30-win team.

Round 1: #6 Michigan (22-9) vs. #11 UNLV (31-2)

Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Date and Time: Friday, March 17 at 3:00 p.m. ET
How to Watch: ESPNU or on the ESPN website or app with eligible cable plan

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