On Tuesday, two teams took the court. One of them, a historically dominant team with eight national championships and 16 Final Four appearances. The other, a historically terrible team 100 games under .500 and just four NCAA Tournament appearances before 2012.
When Michigan left the court, it left having made history. The first Sweet Sixteen in program history. The first.
It’s not the only first this season: Highest AP ranking at No. 11, most consecutive wins to start the season, highest ever tournament seed, first All-American (Naz Hillmon) and first Big Ten Player of the Year (Naz Hillmon) are also on the list.
But this first means more, just ask Hillmon:
“This year I’ve gotten a lot of individual accolades and they’re always great. But seeing the work that my team has put in throughout the year, and to be finally recognized as a team is the best accolade that I can ever get. And I’m like getting choked up because this group is special and we work every night and every day and we talked about these things and now they’re getting put into fruition.”