Little more than an afterthought behind Purdue, Wisconsin, Maryland and Minnesota in the Big Ten during the regular campaign, the Wolverines defeated three of the four in the Boilermakers, Golden Gophers and Badgers to win the Conference Tournament.
History shows that a Conference Tournament winner with good senior leadership, Louisville and Connecticut being prime recent examples, can go all the way in the NCAA Tournament.
Michigan still has a tough passage for that to occur and could quite easily fall at the next hurdle against the Ducks, but their initial success should not be a surprise.
Curiously Derrick Walton Jr. and Zak Irvin, the senior starters in the backcourt, were not at their best on Sunday and yet the Wolverines still prevailed 73-69 at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Facing Michigan will be an Oregon team that many expected to falter. This is not the same side without the injured Chris Boucher and Rhode Island led by as many as 11 points in the second half before the Ducks rallied for the 75-72 victory.
Tyler Dorsey paced Oregon with 27 points with Dillon Brooks adding a further 19.
As to emphasize the upset potential Dorsey and Brooks were the only two Ducks players in double figures and Oregon will almost certainly need Jordan Bell and Dylan Ennis to step up against the Wolverines.
Elsewhere in the Midwest Regional top seeded Kansas and fourth seed Purdue made it through to the Sweet Sixteen.
Neither side has played to their potential yet in the tournament although the Jayhawks showed more than a glimpse with their 90-70 defeat of Michigan State.
Heralded freshman Josh Jackson had 23 points for Kansas and if he stays hot could well lead the team to the Final Four.