Big Apple bound: No. 5 Michigan punches New York ticket with 77-47 win over Cleveland State
ANN ARBOR -- Start spreading the news.
Michigan's headed back to New York City.
Tim Hardaway Jr. had 17 points and freshman Nik Stauskas added 15 as No. 5 Michigan blasted its way by Cleveland State, 77-47, to officially punch its ticket in the NIT Season Tip-Off tournament semifinals.
The NIT semis will be held at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Michigan will play Pittsburgh (9:30 p.m., ESPN2) on Wednesday, Nov. 21.
It'll be Michigan's first trip to Madison Square Garden since playing in the 2k Sports Classic in 2008-09. Michigan last played at MSG in the Preseason NIT in 2004-05.
On Tuesday, the Wolverines barely broke a sweat against Cleveland State, starting the game on an 8-0 run and finishing the first half on a 23-4 spurt that put them up 28 points at the half.
Sophomore point guard Trey Burke finished with 12 points and 7 assists for the Wolverines.
Michigan has outscored its three opponents 268-163 this season.
-- Mitch McGary played much better during Tuesday's first half, putting up 6 points and 6 rebounds before the break -- while also drawing a charge. He ran the floor, converted a layup in transition and even showed a post move or two in the paint.
-- Michigan's offense has been the main focus early on this season, but the Wolverine defense definitely did its part early Tuesday -- holding Cleveland State to 6 of 27 shooting in the first half.
-- Michigan didn't need Hardaway or Burke to be superstars in this one -- a very balanced effort. Eight of the nine players Beilein used in his early-game rotation put points in the scorebook -- a very balanced attack.
-- Celebrity-watch returned to Crisler Center on Tuesday, as injured Michigan senior quarterback Denard Robinson took in a portion of the game from the stands.
-- Burke's turnovers haven't hurt Michigan yet, but he's been pretty loose with the ball at times this season. He had three turnovers Tuesday, he's now got 11 through three games.
-- That's about it -- Michigan didn't do a lot of wrong in this one.
ISSUE OF THE DAY
Michigan turned defense into offense early and often in the first half, jumping out to a 42-14 lead at the break. A much improved effort at the other end of the floor, something that seemed to lack a bit Monday night.
Who's headed to New York?