Michigan’s 2019 NCAA Tournament tips off tonight (9:20 p.m., TNT) against the No. 15 seeded Montana Grizzlies.
Despite a bracketing principle that discourages first-round rematches, the Wolverines and Grizzlies are running back last year’s tournament opener. The bulk of Montana’s rotation matches last year’s team, but its style of play has shifted after an injury to starting center Jamar Akoh.
Rather than a post-up heavy high-low offense, Travis DeCuire’s team spreads the floor and plays guards and wings at every position.
The Grizzlies are the second-most experienced team in the NCAA Tournament (trailing Nevada, who could see the winner of this game) but their overall performance this year lags behind last year’s team. Montana enters tonight’s game ranked 137th by KenPom, over 50 spots behind its 2017-18 group.
More on Michigan-Montana:
- Matchup Breakdown: Michigan vs. Montana
- First Look: Montana Grizzlies
- Michigan is peaking at the right time, even if it doesn’t feel like it