Michigan basketball earns No. 3 seed in NCAA Tournament, will play Montana in first round

Wolverines placed in West Region after winning Big Ten Tournament title

The Michigan bench reacts during a win over Michigan State during semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 3, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

DETROIT - The Michigan basketball team earned a No. 3 seed in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, and will battle No. 14 seed Montana in the first round.

Michigan was placed in the West Region after winning the Big Ten Tournament championship for the second year in a row. The Wolverines knocked off Iowa, Nebraska, Michigan State and Purdue in consecutive days to capture the conference crown.

While Michigan was one of the hottest team in the country, it will take the court Thursday in Wichita, Kansas, after 10 days off.

Montana got into the Big Dance by winning the Big Sky Tournament title on Saturday. The Grizzlies went 26-7 this season, winning the Big Sky regular-season title by two games.

READ: Michigan State to open NCAA Tournament vs. Bucknell in Detroit

Before going 16-2 in conference play, Montana made noise the first week of the season by winning at Pittsburgh. That didn't turn out to be a great win, as Pittsburgh went 0-18 in ACC play and fired head coach Kevin Stallings.

But Montana had other chances against major programs, losing to Penn State, Stanford and Washington. The Grizzlies don't have any wins inside the RPI top 100.

Montana isn't a particularly strong offensive team, especially in terms of 3-point shooting, but it ranks 55th in the nation in defensive efficiency. Admaad Rorie leads the Grizzlies at 17.3 points per game, but Jamar Akoh averages 13.3 points on 56.8 percent shooting.

The winner of Michigan vs. Montana will advance to the second round to face the winner of No. 6 Houston and No. 11 San Diego State. If the Wolverines survive the first weekend, they could get a rematch with No. 2 North Carolina.

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