Karl Cochran was not recruited to play basketball at Michigan. Nor were any of his Wofford teammates. They instead found a small, liberal arts college splashed over 170 acres in Spartanburg, S.C. with an enrollment totaling 1,588. In other words, it would take about 69 Wofford Colleges to fill Michigan Stadium. Cochran doesn't care about any of that. He doesn't care that his Terriers, champions of the Southern Conference, are 15.5-point underdogs to Michigan in their NCAA opening round meeting on Thursday. He doesn't care that Michigan, last year's national runner-up, is a No. 2 seed. He doesn't care that Wofford is a No. 15 seed. He, as he declared during a Wednesday press conference at Bradley Center, is not "playing the numbers game." "Fifteen-two? Oh, well," Cochran said. "It's a basketball game. That's our mindset. We're not going to overestimate them. They're just a team. They can lose, we can lose." Wofford is gunning to become only the eighth No. 15 seed in NCAA tournament history to win its opening round game. It has some recent history on its side. Three 15 seeds have advanced in the last two NCAA tournaments. Florida Gulf Coast beat Georgetown last season, while Norfolk State beat Missouri and Albany beat Duke in 2012. "We haven't talked much about that," said Lee Skinner, Cochran's teammate. "Our mindset is that we're focused on the next game, biggest game of the year." Cochran, a 6-foot-1 junior guard, was an All-SoCon first-team selection this season, averaging 15.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. Skinner is a 6-foot-6 junior averaging 12.8 points and 5.0 rebounds on a team with no one over 6-foot-8. "That's been the story all year around whoever we play -- we're a little bit smaller," Skinner said. "So we'll have to do a good job at rebounding, playing team defense how we do." What Wofford does is slow the game down, control pace and work at a methodical tempo, using every second of some possessions. "Controlling the tempo is going to be a really big part of what we're going to do," Cochran said, later adding, "That will probably be one of the biggest factors, especially if we can cut down their baskets in transition and force them to try to score points in the half court set versus our defense." Wofford has won 13 of its last 15 games after opening the season 7-10. The Terriers carried their late-season surge into the SoCon tournament and wrestled Western Carolina 56-53 win.
Wofford not looking to back down, ready to hunt for an upset over Michigan
Michigan Live | Mar 20