Originally posted on Fox Sports Kansas City  |  Last updated 11/23/12
NEW YORK (AP) -- Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 23 points before he left late in the game after he was kneed in the head, and No. 4 Michigan beat Kansas State 71-57 on Friday night to win the NIT Season Tipoff. Glenn Robinson III had 12 rebounds, and Trey Burke and Jon Horford had 10 points each for the Wolverines. Hardaway made 10 of 15 shots from the field before he was hurt with about four minutes left. He returned to the bench in time to celebrate with the rest of his team. Rodney McGruder scored 16 points and had seven rebounds, and Angel Rodriguez scored 10 points for Kansas State (5-1). Michigan (5-0) won the tournament, previously known as the Preseason NIT, for the first time. It was the Wolverines' first title in a significant preseason tournament since the 1997-98 season, when they beat Syracuse to capture the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic. Michigan will get another test on Tuesday when it faces No. 16 North Carolina State in the Big Ten-ACC challenge on Tuesday. The Wolverines struggled at the end of the first half against Kansas State while Trey Burke and Jordan Morgan sat on the bench in foul trouble. But Hardaway took over early in the second half. He made four baskets in the first eight minutes as Michigan got out to a 49-30 lead. At one point, he showcased a crossover of the sort that made his father famous, juking Kansas State's Will Spradling to give himself a wide open shot that he knocked down to wild cheering just as the crowd at Madison Square Garden finished gasping at the move. That basket made it 43-27, and Michigan kept up the pressure, taking a 21-point lead with a little over 10 minutes to play. From there, it was mostly a formality. In its semifinal, Kansas State overcame a pesky Delaware team that should contend in the Colonial Athletic Association, but Michigan was several notches above the Blue Hens and the Wildcats didn't have much of an answer. They got off to a slow start in each half, and spent most of their effort trying to chip away at Michigan's lead. Michigan had a 10-point advantage midway through the first half, but gave some of it back after Morgan and Burke each got two fouls. The Wildcats were outshot 48 percent to 29 percent in the half, but only trailed by five at 29-24. The Wildcats should be favored in their next four games before they face No. 7 Florida on Dec. 22. They open the Big 12 season Jan. 5 against Oklahoma State. Michigan's road isn't as easy -- the Wolfpack come to Ann Arbor on Tuesday, and Michigan returns to New York on Dec. 15 for a game against West Virginia at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Michigan fans started a chant of "Beat Ohio!" during an extended timeout with 3:37 to play and Michigan up 66-47. Michigan plays archrival Ohio State -- or "Ohio," according to Wolverines football coach Brady Hoke -- on Saturday at Ohio Stadium. At the end they did it again, standing and cheering as the Wolverines dribbled out the clock.
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