Michigan Basketball will spend Thanksgiving in New York as they play in the final rounds of the NIT Season Tip Off. The Wolverines (3-0) will play Pittsburgh (4-0) in a semi-final game on Wednesday at 9:30. The other semi-final match up features Kansas State against Delaware.
7:00pm: Kansas State vs Delaware on ESPNU
9:30pm: Michigan vs Pittsburgh on ESPN2
2:30pm: Consolation game on ESPN
4:30pm: Championship game on ESPN
Pittsburgh is known for being a very good defensive team and that will be a great test for Michigan’s young guns. So far this season, Pitt has defeated Mount St. Mary’s, Fordham, Lehigh and they needed overtime to edge past Oakland in their last game. They have 3 players averaging over 13 points per game; Talib Zanna (14.0), Tray Woodall (13.8), and JJ Moore (13.3). Zanna and Moore are juniors and Woodall is a senior.
Michigan heads to New York as the 4th ranked team in the country, brimming with excitement over the talent that they have added to the roster. The starting line up in the first 3 games has been:
Tim Hardaway Jr.
Glenn Robinson III
I think it’s only a matter of time before Nik Stauskas gets inserted into the starting five. Stauskas is one of four Wolverines averaging double-digits in scoring (11.0); Burke (18.3), Hardaway Jr. (17.3), Robinson III (13.3). The freshman sharpshooter has connected on 7 of 10 three-pointers this season and has also shown good playmaking ability.
So far this season Michigan has 53 assists on 101 made shots against just 32 turnovers. This is a testament to the chemistry this team has as well as the multitude of scoring options they possess.
Should the Wolverines prevail on Wednesday they will face the winner of Kansas State vs Delaware. The Blue Hens upset Virginia to advance to the final rounds. They shouldn’t be underestimated as they are a very good team.
We will learn a lot about Michigan during these two games. The on court leadership of Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. will be huge for U-M. Hardaway Jr. has looked like a man possessed in the first 3 games and Burke has been masterful running the point.
Predictions: So far this season Joe and I are both 3-0 predicting the outcome of Michigan Basketball games. We both like the Wolverines chances of winning the NIT Season Tip Off. Joe has Michigan beating Pitt 70-62 and then winning again on Friday 72-65. I’m going with Michigan over Pitt 76-66 and think the Wolverines will edge past Kansas State on Friday 73-66.