No. 4 Michigan holds off Pitt
by Nicole Auerbach, USA TODAY Sports
NEW YORK — They looked young for awhile, which isn’t surprising because, well, underclassmen make up half of the Wolverines’ roster.
Michigan coach John Beilein knows that, but he also knows they’re quick learners. And they’ve learned his signature 1-3-1 zone.
Though the Wolverines started slow and found themselves down four points to Pittsburgh at the half, they grabbed the lead midway through the second half thanks to disruptive defense and timely shot-making from two sons of former NBA stars — junior guard Tim Hardaway Jr. and freshman forward Glenn Robinson III. Hardaway and Robinson combined to score 22 of their 29 total points after halftime.
No. 4 Michigan defeated Pitt 67-62 in Wednesday night’s NIT Season Tip-Off semifinal at Madison Square Garden.
Entering this season, the Big Ten was touted as arguably the best and deepest conference in college basketball. Three teams — Indiana, Ohio State and Michigan — filled out three of the top five slots in both the USA TODAY Sports coaches poll and the Associated Press poll.
Being picked to be good is one thing; beating good teams is another.
The top-ranked Hoosiers had to prove that they belong among the nation’s best, going toe-to-toe with a talented yet unranked Georgetown team earlier this week in the Legends Classic in Brooklyn. More than a few subway stops across town, Michigan did the same against Pitt one night later.