The 2012 Allstate Sugar Bowl was the 78th edition of the annual postseason college football bowl game known as the Sugar Bowl. It featured the Michigan Wolverines and the Virginia Tech Hokies on Tuesday, January 3, 2012, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. The game was the final contest of the 2011 football season for both teams and was the third game of the 2011–2012 Bowl Championship Series (BCS). The game ended with 23–20 Michigan victory in overtime. Michigan represented the Big Ten Conference (Big Ten) as the at-large team from the conference, while Virginia Tech represented the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) as its at-large team. The game was televised in the United States on ESPN and an estimated 9.6 million viewers watched the broadcast live. This was the first Sugar Bowl since 2000, as well as only the sixth since World War II and the tenth overall, not to feature a Southeastern Conference (SEC) team.
Michigan was offered a berth after it finished the season with a 10–2 record—its highest win total since the 2006 season—that ended with a 40–34 win against arch-rival Ohio State. Virginia Tech was offered a berth after it finished its season 11–2, which culminated in a 38–10 loss in the 2011 ACC Championship Game to Clemson. Media attention focused on the quality of the bowl selection, as both teams were criticized for not having strong schedules. Attention also focused on how Virginia Tech's defense would contain Michigan QB Denard Robinson.
The game kicked off at 8:32 pm Eastern Standard Time, and Virginia Tech scored first, converting the its first possession into on a field goal. Virginia Tech added another field goal in the second quarter, but Michigan scored a touchdown in the final minute to take a 7–6 lead, and then recovered a Virginia Tech fumble on the ensuing kickoff. Michigan kicked a field goal as time expired in the first half to take a 10–6 lead. Michigan converted its first possession of the second half into a touchdown to take a 17–6 lead, but Virginia Tech added a field goal to narrow the lead to 17–9. In the fourth quarter, Virginia Tech scored a touchdown to narrow Michigan's lead to two points, and then converted a two-point conversion to tie the game. Michigan responded with a field goal, but Virginia Tech tied the game with a field goal with two seconds remaining. In overtime, Virginia Tech appeared to score the go-ahead touchdown, but the call on the field was overturned upon video review. On the next play, Virginia Tech missed a crucial field goal. Michigan converted its field goal opportunity to win the game 23–20 in overtime.
In recognition of his performance, Michigan's Junior Hemingway was named the game's most valuable player.