Sitting up on a podium, back on the NCAA tournament stage, Michigan's Nik Stauskas was asked about little-known Wofford the day before the two teams met. The Big Ten player of the year passed along the typical compliments. He called the Terriers a "high IQ basketball team" that is "tricky to guard." He wrapped it up by concluding, "I'm sure it will be a good game." Thursday was not a good game for Michigan. But it was a win. The Wolverines used a wide talent gulf and little else to push past gutsy Wofford, 57-40, in the opening round of the 2014 NCAA tournament. Michigan didn't quiet look the part of the Midwest Region's No. 2 seed, but double-digit scoring efforts from Nik Stauskas (15 points) and Glenn Robinson III (14), and a double-double from Jordan Morgan (10 points, 10 rebounds) allowed it to avoid an upset bid. Michigan advanced to the round of 32 with the win. It will face either No. 7 seed Texas or No. 10 seed Arizona State back at the Bradley Center. A tip-off time will not be announced until after the Sun Devils and Longhorns complete their Thursday evening matchup. The Wolverines languished through a 22-for-46 shooting performance to reach the tournament's third round. They saw a 34-20 halftime lead trimmed all the way down to seven points with 9 minutes, 21 seconds left. With that, the Bradley Center crowd threw its support behind the upset-minded Terriers. Michigan showed some resolves, though. As 8-0 run keyed by back-to-back buckets from Morgan and Robinson followed by a 3-pointer from Caris LeVert pushed the advantage back to 15 later in the half. The Wolverines led 50-35 and never looked back. Michigan's return to the NCAA tournament started slow and dragged through much of the first half. It led by 14 at halftime, but the 2013 national runner-ups managed only nine points through the opening 8 minutes, 35 seconds. With backup point guard Spike Albrecht checking in, U-M's offense found some brief traction, rattling off an 8-0 run in a three-minute stretch. The spurt stretched the lead to 20-8. Robinson single-handily took care of the half's final five minutes, scoring 11 of Michigan's 13 points before halftime.
Michigan tops Wofford 93-78 to advance in NCAA tournament
Michigan Live | Mar 21