Michigan’s bittersweet weekend continued Sunday as it earned a No. 1 seed in the East Regional a day after announcing its second-leading scorer has an injury that could keep him out of the NCAA Tournament.
Isaiah Livers is out indefinitely with a stress injury in his right foot that prevented him from playing in a Big Ten Tournament semifinal loss to Ohio State. Livers said Saturday that “I don’t want people to write me off yet” but spoke Sunday night about how he could contribute without playing.
“I’m just going to be the best leader I can be,” Livers said. “Obviously the mental aspect is going to be challenging for me, looking at my teammates giving their all out there and I know how much work they put in, and I can’t be out there.”
Michigan (20-4) opens its tournament run Saturday against the winner of Thursday’s matchup between Mount St. Mary’s (12-10) and Texas Southern (16-8).
“With everything we’ve dealt with, our guys have really competed so hard, they deserve to be in this position right now,” Michigan coach Juwan Howard said. “Now the real work starts.”
The other first-round games Saturday in the East Regional include LSU (18-9) vs. St. Bonaventure (16-4), Colorado (22-8) vs. Georgetown (13-12), Florida State (16-6) vs. UNC Greensboro (21-8), BYU (20-6) vs. Michigan State (15-12) or UCLA (17-9), Texas (19-7) vs. Abilene Christian (23-4), UConn (15-7) vs. Maryland (16-13) and Alabama (24-6) vs. Iona (12-5).