Women's Basketball

Senior Hallie Thome has used her size to her advantage for the Michigan women's basketball team.

If the Wolverines intend to progress into the round of 32, they must capitalize on their size advantage against Kansas State.

“We know that’s one of our keys tomorrow,” said Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico. “Obviously rebounding but also establishing our posts. Hallie Thome is tremendous inside. Hailey Brown, Kayla Robbins, Naz Hillmon — those are difference makers for us and that’s a place where we have to go early in the ball game.”

Forward Hailey Brown looks to make an impact in her first NCAA tournament game after she missed last season's game for the Wolverines.

Even for a team that had exceeded expectations and broken a four-year drought from the NCAA Tournament, the loss was tough for many of the Wolverines. It was especially frustrating for then-freshman forward Hailey Brown, who at the time was nursing a season-ending ankle injury.

Watching her teammates battle against the Bears from the bench, Brown was forced to watch her team slowly succumb. An important contributor all year, she sat helplessly to the side, knowing she could have potentially made a difference.

The Michigan women's basketball team will take on Kansas State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday at 2 p.m.

This will be the Wolverines’ third trip to the tournament under coach Kim Barnes Arico, and their second in the last two years. Meanwhile, the Wildcats will see their third tournament appearance in the last four years, after missing the Big Dance last season.

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But now in her seventh season at the helm of the Michigan women’s basketball team (21-11 overall, 11-7 Big Ten), Barnes Arico can contextualize Auriemma’s sentiment. On Monday, the Wolverines got a tournament bid for the second straight year — but it hasn’t always been that way.

The Michigan women's basketball team earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year.

As the No. 8 seed in the Albany Region, Michigan will face Kansas State in the Round of 64. The two teams will meet on Friday in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Daily projects that the Michigan women's basketball team led by Kim Barnes Arico will be a nine seed in the NCAA Tournament.

For 64 teams, the night will end in joyous cheers as they have their ticket to the Big Dance punched, while the rest of the squads watching will remain sullen as their chances at championship glory this season come to an end. The Michigan women’s basketball team will likely wind up in the former group.

The Michigan women's basketball team awaits its fate for the NCAA Tournament.

The Michigan women’s basketball team (3-6 Big Ten, 21-11 overall) can rest a little easier than normal. After a loss to Michigan State dropped its Big Ten record to 3-6 and 12-9 overall, a tournament berth seemed like a pipe dream.
But following a white-hot February that saw the team go 6-1, the Wolverines are sitting pretty for a likely tournament berth and a resume that includes wins over conference stalwarts Iowa and Indiana and a neutral site victory over Missouri in November. While Michigan fell in heartbreaking fashion to No. 8 Maryland in a 73-72 defeat last Saturday in the program’s first Big Ten semifinal appearance, its current status should be enough to propel it to the Big Dance.

Freshman point guard Amy Dilk posted a career-high 11 assists against Maryland last weekend.

The Michigan women’s basketball coach applauded the Wolverines’ effort and execution throughout the press conference, but when asked specifically about the development of freshman point guard Amy Dilk, she took her praise to another level.

Senior guard Nicole Munger hopes her team will be selected for a second consecutive NCAA tournament bid.

Heading into the previous selection shows, those Michigan teams each had 22 wins under their belts. This year’s group has 21, yet it’s in a better position to get a bid — and to actually do something with it — than past groups.

Why? Because this team is trending up.

Amy Dilk, Naz Hillmon, Hallie Thome and Nicole Munger have been key pieces for the Michigan women's basketball team this season.

Guided by their star co-captain seniors, guard Nicole Munger and center Hallie Thome, and a pair of standout freshmen in guard Amy Dilk and forward Naz Hillmon the Wolverines are now on the cusp of their second-straight NCAA Tournament berth.

The Daily breaks down the seasons these four players put together.