No. 3 Michigan raises a banner, then drops No. 18 N.C. State, 79-72, to remain unbeaten
ANN ARBOR -- On a night when Michigan raised a championship banner for a hard-fought Big Ten championship last season, the 2012-13 Wolverines showed why they might have a shot to do the same thing again next year.
And for the first time all season, they did it against a ranked opponent.
Trey Burke set a new career-high with 11 assists, and added 18 points in the second half, Tuesday and No. 3 Michigan (6-0) remained unbeaten with a 79-72 win over No. 18 North Carolina State at a packed Crisler Center.
The win came on a night when the Wolverines honored their 2011-12 squad by raising the program's first Big Ten championship banner since 1986 and gave Michigan a Big Ten/ACC Challenge win after falling on the road against Virginia in the event last season.
Freshman wing Nik Stauskas put on a shooting clinic in the first half, and finished with 20 points on 6 of 10 shooting. Tim Hardaway Jr. finished with 16 points, while Glenn Robinson III put up 11 points and 7 rebounds.
Michigan led by double-digits for most of the second half, but an 10-0 run by N.C. State cut the advantage down to five points with 3:17 to go -- but Michigan hit its free throws late, and got a key charge call with under a minute to go to seal the win.
-- Trey Burke didn't score in the first half, but he didn't have to. Burke had 9 assists and 0 turnovers before halftime, and Michigan still put up 43 first-half points. It's safe to say Michigan would have been dead and buried last season if Burke went 20 minutes without scoring.
-- Stauskas continued to show very little, if any, limit to his shooting range in the first half. But, more than that, he showed he can put the ball on the floor against an athletic team and create his own shot. He's still coming off the bench, but John Beilein is going to have a difficult time keeping him there for long.
-- Michigan's new athletic firepower was on full display during a stint early in the second half. After Burke broke out with a two-handed jam, Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III both scored athletic offensive rebounds that sent the Crisler crowd into a frenzy -- all things that likely never would have happened last season.
-- Michigan's transition defense was lacking at times in the first half, and N.C. State got way too many clean looks at the hoop. The Wolfpack shot an even 60 percent from the floor over the first 20 minutes, even though they trailed 43-36.
-- North Carolina State did plenty of damage at the basket throughout the game, especially late in the second half to get back in it. Michigan was out-rebounded 31-25, the first time that's happened all season.
-- For the first time all year, the Wolverines really struggled to put their foot down on an opponent. N.C. State is the most talented club they've seen, but allowing the Wolfpack to come all the way back from 15 down in the second half to make it a game is rather concerning.
ISSUE OF THE DAY
We said Trey Burke vs. N.C. State point guard Rodney Purvis would be the matchup to watch, and Burke completely controlled that one. Purvis didn't start, and did very little. Burke, meanwhile, set a new career-high in assists and scored all his points after halftime. This one, easily, goes to Burke.
This was easily the toughest non-conference opponent Michigan had on its schedule. The Wolverines will play West Virginia in Brooklyn in two weeks -- when will Michigan lose a game?