No. 2 Michigan (25-8) survived a second half scare from No. 15 Wofford (20-12) Thursday (Mar. 20), 57-40, to advance to the next round of the 2014 NCAA basketball tournament.
The Wolverines will meet the No. 7 Texas Longhorns Saturday (Mar. 22), winners over No. 10 Arizona State, 87-85. Tip-off is set for 5:15 pm ET.
With a 34-20 halftime lead, the Wolverines were in cruise control until poor shooting and sloppy play allowed Wofford to get within seven points of U-M, 40-33.
Slow start in second half
It took the Wolverines almost three minutes to get their first basket after the break–a three pointer by Nik Stauskas
If it wasn’t for Wofford’s dismal shooting behind the arc, Michigan could easily be in the same shoes as Ohio State and Cincinnati.
The Terriers often were able to get inside for easy buckets, but they kept believing they could cut into Michigan’s lead by hoisting up misguided threes.
Wofford made just one of 19 treys while Michigan hit 7-of-17. The 18-point difference hurts when you lose by 17.
After Wofford went on a 13-2 run to get within seven, Michigan scored on a nice put-back by Glenn Robinson III after a Morgan miss from in close. The basket sent Michigan on a mini-rally where Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton, Jr. hit long threes to extend the lead to 53-37 with 3:13 remaining.
Stauskas then hit another three and Michigan could breathe a little easier.
Michigan head coach John Beilein, who has been on both sides of these Cinderella stories, couldn’t help but notice No. 11 Dayton’s 60-59 upset win over Ohio State.
Former coaches in the spotlight
Beilein is also familiar with a pair of former Michigan coaches.
Tommy Amaker and Steve Fisher ( are having their usual fine seasons and are primed to make a run in this year’s tournament.
Amaker, who’s also known for his defensive guard play at Duke, first took the head job at Seton Hall (2001-07), before moving on to Michigan where he was the head coach from 2001-2007. From there, Amaker has moved on to Harvard (26-4) where his team is in its third straight NCAA tournament. Earlier today, No. 12 Harvard defeated No. 5 Cincinnati 61-57.
Fisher took over the Michigan job prior to the 1989 NCAA tournament. Then coach Bill Frieder announced his exit to take the head job at Arizona State. Fisher, Frieder’s assistant at the the time, was offered the head Michigan job on an interim basis. All Fisher did was win the NCAA championship and the interim was removed. He was dismissed from Michigan in 1997 and moved on to San Diego State.
Fisher’s No. 4 Aztecs are playing in The Big Dance for the fifth straight time. They survived and advanced with a 73-69 overtime win over No. 13 New Mexico State later last night.
Stauskas led Michigan with 15 points, but only had one assist and three turnovers, Robinson had 14 points and Jordan Morgan had a double-double, 10 points and 10 rebounds. Derrick Walton, Jr. chipped in with six points and five assists and LeVert had six points and four assists.
Wofford simply had a horrible shooting night. Leading scorer Karl Cochran had 17 points but was 1-of-10 beyond the arc.♦
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Joel Greer