Here's when Michigan basketball will play UCLA for a spot in the 2021 Final Four

Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press
·3 min read

Michigan basketball won't have to wait long on Tuesday to find out its potential Final Four opponent. The top-seeded Wolverines will have the (approximate) 9:57 p.m. start time on TBS for their East region final matchup against No. 11-seed UCLA in the second game of the evening. The Elite Eight matchup will tip off at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

The winner of that game will face the winner of Tuesday's first game, the West region final between No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 6 USC or No. 7 Oregon, on Saturday for a spot in the national title game on April 5. The Zags will face their Pac-12 foe at 7:15 p.m., also at Lucas Oil Stadium on TBS.

Michigan guard Jace Howard and forward Austin Davis celebrate after the 76-58 win over Florida State during the Sweet 16 game on Sunday, March 28, 2021, in Indianapolis.,
Michigan guard Jace Howard and forward Austin Davis celebrate after the 76-58 win over Florida State during the Sweet 16 game on Sunday, March 28, 2021, in Indianapolis.,

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Michigan advanced to the regional final with a 76-58 demolition of No. 4-seed Florida State. UCLA's path was a little more rocky, as the Bruins upset No. 2-seed Alabama with a strong overtime after allowing a buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of regulation.

Tuesday will be Michigan's fourth appearance in the Elite Eight in nine seasons, and its first since advancing all the way to the title game in 2018. It's the first appearance in a regional final as a coach for Michigan's Juwan Howard, in his second season in Ann Arbor, but not his first overall. Howard made the national final as a player at Michigan in 1992 and 1993, losing to Duke and North Carolina, respectively.

UCLA, meanwhile, is in the Elite Eight for the first time since 2008, when the Bruins made the Final Four and lost in the national semifinal. UCLA has already eliminated one team from Michigan, taking out Michigan State in overtime in the First Four round to open the tournament. A win Tuesday would make the Bruins the second team to go from the First Four to the Final Four, after VCU did it in 2011.

Michigan Wolverines head coach Juwan Howard reacts in the first half against the Florida State Seminoles during the Sweet 16 of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 28, 2021.
Michigan Wolverines head coach Juwan Howard reacts in the first half against the Florida State Seminoles during the Sweet 16 of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 28, 2021.

U-M and UCLA have plenty of history, with 18 matchups dating back to 1959; the Bruins have the all-time edge with 12 wins in the series. They also have the edge in NCAA tournament games between the two teams, going 3-1 against the Wolverines in games in 1965 (national final), 1976 (first round), 1993 (second round) and 1998 (second round).

Howard should remember the 1993 game well; his Wolverines came back from a 19-point deficit in regulation to top the Bruins, 86-84, on a controversial shot in the final seconds of overtime. Howard had 14 points, five rebounds and three assists that day in Tucson, Arizona.

Contact Ryan Ford at rford@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @theford.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Here's when Michigan basketball will play UCLA for a Final Four berth