Michigan Wolverines’ winter athletics programs enjoyed high levels of success this year, with the season being capped off by the women’s gymnastic team’s NCAA championship Saturday.
Three of Michigan’s eight winter sports teams — men’s basketball, men’s gymnastics and men’s swimming and diving — won team Big Ten Championships, and all made noise in their respective national championship events.
Below is a look at how each winter sport team fared.
Michigan Men’s Basketball
Led by Associated Press Coach of the Year Juwan Howard in his second season on the job, Michigan men’s basketball won the Big Ten regular-season title outright by posting a 14-3 (.824) conference record. The Wolverines earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since Howard was a player in 1994, and advanced to the Elite Eight — without star senior forward Isaiah Livers (foot injury; missed last five games) — before falling to UCLA in the East Regional Final.
Michigan Women’s Basketball
It was a history-making season for ninth-year head coach Kim Barnes Arico and Michigan women’s basketball. The Maize and Blue were a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament, their highest seed in program history, and earned a Sweet 16 berth for the first time ever. The Wolverines fell to No. 2 seed Baylor in the regional semifinals but took the Bears, who are known as a national powerhouse, to overtime. Junior forward Naz Hillmon became the program’s first All-American and Big Ten Player of the Year honoree.
Michigan Men’s Gymnastics
Michigan men’s gymnastics captured its 18th Big Ten championship in program history, and first since 2014, by posting a team score of 411.000. It marked a season sweep for the program, which secured the league’s regular-season title and posted a 13-0 record. Head coach Kurt Golder was honored as the conference’s Coach of the Yer for the sixth time in his 25-year career at Michigan.
At the NCAA Championships Saturday, Michigan was able to finish third — behind champion Stanford and runner-up Oklahoma — in the country, its highest finish since winning the national title in 2014. The Maize and Blue had 11 gymnasts compile 13 All-America awards, the most since 2013.
Michigan Women’s Gymnastics
Michigan finished second out of nine teams at the Big Ten Championships in late March. Then, on Saturday, the Wolverines won their first-ever NCAA Championship and became one of just seven schools to ever win one. Their score of 198.2500 was the best in program history and the third-highest score in national championship meet history.
Michigan Ice Hockey
Michigan posted a 15-10-1 record on the season, and was placed as a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament field, earning its 38th tournament bid, which is tied for the most out of any school. Just before the Wolverines’ first-round game against Minnesota Duluth, the two-time defending national champion, they were disqualified due to positive COVID-19 tests within the team’s Tier I testing group, with the game subsequently being ruled a ‘no contest.’
Michigan Men’s Swimming And Diving
Led by head coach Mike Bottom, who was named Big Ten Coach of the Year, the Wolverines won their second consecutive Big Ten championship and posted a 12th-place finish at the NCAA Championships. The team also dealt with the passing of junior Ian Miskelley last fall and navigated a season with plenty of adversity, including two stoppages due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Michigan Women’s Swimming And Diving
Michigan women’s swimming and diving finished in sixth place with a team score of 224.5 at the NCAA Championships in Greensboro, N.C., and two Wolverines — juniors Maggie McNeil and Olivia Carter — won a total of three individual national titles. MacNeil won the NCAA crown in the 100-yard butterfly on day three, before taking home gold in the 100-yard freestyle on the fourth and final day of the championships. On day four, she was joined by Carter, a Greensboro native, who won the 200-yard butterfly in her hometown.
Michigan wrestling notched its third straight top-five NCAA finish and did so behind the strength of four All-Americans. Junior Mason Parris was the national runner-up at heavyweight, while sixth-year senior Myles Amine placed third at 197 pounds. Additionally, sixth-year senior Logan Massa reached the podium following a fifth-place showing at 174 and redshirt freshman Cameron Amine placed seventh at 165 pounds. Also on the season, Michigan posted a 5-1 record in dual meets and finished fourth out of 14 teams at the Big Ten Championships.
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