When Was the Last Time Michigan Was in the NCAA Tournament?

The Michigan Wolverines haven’t appeared in the NCAA tournament since 1989.

Unofficially, the University of Michigan Wolverines Men’s Basketball team have:

  • Won 12 Big Ten regular-season conference titles;
  • Won the 1998 Big Ten Tournament;
  • Appeared in the NCAA Tournament 22 times;
  • Appeared in the NCAA Final Four on six occasions (1964, 1965, 1976, 1989, 1992 and 1993);
  • Won the 1989 national championship;

Unofficially, Steve Fisher, Brian Ellerbe, Tommy Amaker have a combined record of 355-225 between the 1989 and 2007 seasons. Notable players during that period included Glen Rice, Jalen Rose, Rumeal Robinson, Jamal Crawford, Juwan Howard, Chris Webber and Tractor Traylor. As I was growing up in the late ’80s and early 90s, Michigan was a powerhouse in college basketball.

Officially however, due to NCAA sanctions (i.e, cheating), the University of Michigan has vacated the records from the 1992 Final Four, and the 1992/93, 95/96, 96/97, 97/98 and 98/99 seasons.

  • Officially, since 1990, the Michigan Wolverines have gone 242-338, for a .417 win percentage
  • Unofficially, the Michigan Wolverines haven’t appeared in the NCAA tournament since 1998.
  • Officially, the Michigan Wolverines haven’t appeared in the NCAA tournament since 1989.
  • Officially, the Michigan Wolverines haven’t won an NCAA tournament game in 19 years.

This is an absolutely incredible drought. Unless you put the numbers in print its hard to fathom how far this once national power has fallen. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of ten interesting facts about the world since the Michigan Wolverine men’s basketball team last won an NCAA tournament game.

  1. Since Michigan was last officially in the NCAA tournament, 23 schools have made their first and only NCAA appearance.
  2. Since Michigan was last officially in the NCAA tournament, 252 different schools have danced.
  3. Since Michigan was last unofficially in the tournament, 191 different schools have made a tournament appearance.
  4. Among schools with at least one NCAA Tournament appearance, only 105 teams have not danced since 1998.
  5. Among schools with at least one NCAA Tournament appearance, only 43 teams have a longer drought than Michigan’s official drought.
  6. Among schools with at least five NCAA Tournament appearances, only 8 teams have a drought longer than Michigan’s.
  7. Three current players on the U Mich basketball team were not even alive the last time the Wolverines made the tournament.
  8. Over the last 19 years, the Arizona Cardinals have one more playoff appearance than the Michigan Wolverines.
  9. Since Michigan was last in the NCAA Tournament, the Los Angeles Clippers have four playoff appearances.
  10. The last time the Michigan Wolverines won an NCAA Tournament game, the Berlin Wall was standing.

Pretty staggering isn’t it? As for you Michigan fans, take solace. You could always win the NIT again.

FWIW, here is the list of 43 basketball powerhouses that have longer droughts than Michigan, along with how many tournaments they’ve been to. Seattle (11), Idaho State (11), Oklahoma City (11), Dartmouth (7), NYU (6), Furman (6), Middle Tennessee (6), Loyola-Chicago (5), Jacksonville (5), Duquesne (5), Morehead State (5), Marshall (5), Baylor (4), Toledo (4), Rice (4), Bowling Green (4), Drake (3), VMI (3), Columbia (3), Yale (3), Loyola (3), CCNY (2), Cornell (2), Marist (2), Brown (2), Mercer (2), Tennessee Tech (2), Hardin-Simmons (2), Cal State Fullerton (1), Cleveland State (1), Wayne State (1), Lebanon Valley (1), Saint Francis (1), Akron (1), Houston Baptist (1), Cal State LA (1), Trinity (1), West Texas A&M (1), Williams (1), Harvard (1), Tufts (1), Catholic (1),Springfield (1)

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