Michigan claims NIT Season Tipoff

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 23, 2012
Tim Hardaway Jr. brought the ball up the court, then dribbled between his legs and headed to the left. Then he flashed back to his right, rose up and knocked down a midrange jumper. The crowd at Madison Square Garden gasped at the crossover, which was reminiscent of his famous father's most memorable move. Michigan fans jumped up and cheered. Kansas State coach Bruce Weber called timeout, but it didn't work. Hardaway scored 23 points to power No. 4 Michigan to a 71-57 victory over the Wildcats in the final of the NIT Season Tipoff on Friday night. Glenn Robinson III had 12 rebounds, and Trey Burke and Jon Horford had 10 points apiece for the Wolverines. Hardaway made 10 of 15 shots from the field before he was kneed in the head with less than four minutes left. He returned to the bench in time to celebrate with the rest of his team and collect the tournament MVP award. ''This is what he works for. He works hard at not just being a shooter but to have an in-between game, be a rebounder,'' Michigan coach John Beilein said. ''The biggest thing is his work ethic. That just doesn't happen. He's got great DNA, but DNA doesn't get you there alone.'' Hardaway wasn't available to talk to reporters, but Michigan trainer John DoRosario said the junior passed his concussion tests and was cleared to fly home. The Wolverines' next game is Tuesday against No. 16 North Carolina State. Rodney McGruder had 16 points and seven rebounds, and Angel Rodriguez scored 10 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. ''Those who stay will be champions,'' Beilein said, citing the aphorism of former football coach Bo Schembechler. ''So whenever we have a chance to do something like this, we embrace it and go for it like there's no other games in the season.'' Speaking of football: Although this appears to be one of Michigan's best basketball teams since the Fab Five era, fans at the Garden chanted ''Beat Ohio!,'' looking ahead to Saturday's football game against the archrival Buckeyes. 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 after the break. ''I knew we were going to come out in the second half and make adjustments,'' Burke said. ''I knew that Tim was the hot hand, and they were playing and waiting for me to get to the lane.'' Hardaway made four baskets in the first eight minutes as Michigan got out to a 49-30 lead. His crossover, on which he juked Kansas State's Will Spradling far out of position, 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. ''We spotted them six to start and spotted them eight or so the second half and that's the game and you're just playing catch-up,'' Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said.. 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. ''We got to go prove it again,'' Beilein said. ''The season is a marathon. This is maybe the first 400 yards or something of that marathon, but we ran it well.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Tony Romo takes great shot at Jimmy Kimmel ahead of Oscars

Report: Pelicans sign veteran G Jarrett Jack

Carmelo Anthony does not understand direction of Knicks

Ricky Rubio opens up about ‘tough’ buildup to trade deadline

Chiefs sign RB C.J. Spiller

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Shaq gets into epic Twitter brawl with JaVale McGee

Ben Simmons won’t play for the Sixers this season

Chad Kelly might show up to combine despite not being invited

Teams could not get in touch with Phil Jackson before trade deadline

Gronk: Roger Goodell not welcome at Gillette Stadium

Felony warrant issued for Creighton point guard Maurice Watson Jr.

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker