However, with the impending graduation of the Wolverines’ two co-captains, seniors Hallie Thome and Nicole Munger — two other program legends who played alongside Flaherty the prior three seasons —the same questions are, once again, arising.
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.
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.
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.
The Michigan women’s basketball players walked off the court at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis with their heads down. Following a heart-wrenching 73-72 defeat to top-seeded Maryland in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals, it was hard for players and coaches to remember that the game was by no means the end of their season.
Currently sitting at 57 in the latest Ratings Percentage Index, and as just the fourth team out in ESPN.com’s Charlie Creme’s latest bracket projection, the Wolverines finds themselves in a position that just 10 days ago was inconceivable.
Even though things are trending upwards for Michigan, it does not mean in the slightest that the Wolverines are a shoo-in to make the Tournament.
Munger came out of the gate firing as she hit two 3-pointers in the first quarter. She cooled down after that — not registering another point until three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter — but still played with the fiery intensity that she brings to the table for every game and practice.