The Wolverines (23-12) faced Tulsa (20-12) in a First Four matchup in the NCAA Tournament, prevailing 67-62. Junior Forward Zak Irvin drained a bone-chilling three with under a minute remaining that sealed the deal for U-M. The 11th seeded Wolverines will play the 6th seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday in Brooklyn, NY.
A boring first half started with back and forth scoring resulting in one point lead changes. A Robinson three was answered by a Woodward three. The First TV timeout was reached at 14:52 with a Tulsa lead 10-9 after Moe Wagner had a dunk that was fed by Duncan Robinson. Wagner dominated in the first half on defense with three blocks and five boards. Michigan started to get cold shooting 2 of 10 from deep and 24% from the field. An Irvin three finally ended Michigan’s scoring drought that lasted about seven minutes. Chatman and Dawkins missed threes were finally answered by a Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman drive for a layup as we entered a media timeout with 6:00. A pair of threes ended the half at 28-20.
After gaining a 32-27 lead, Michigan started to slip, allowing Swanegan to make two free throws, and Shaquille Harrison to get a three point play getting fouled driving to the rim. The game was tied 32-32 with 17:30 left, U-M with 4 early fouls, Tulsa with 1. We saw the Wolverines suffer as Walton struggled with foul trouble. two free throws were traded from Shaq and Abdur-Rahkman, Michigan with a lead 44-43. U-M started to develop momentum when Duncan Robinson made the first Wolverine three of the night and Irvin hit a jumper from the right elbow giving them a 49-45 lead. Michigan struggled down the stretch with ball movement. Missed layups and turnovers plagued the Wolverines as Harrison made two free throws off an Irvin turnover and foul, 52-53 wolverines with 5:39 remaining. A Tulsa layup put the Hurricane up 54-53 with 4 minutes left, Coach Beilein had to take a timeout. Out of the timeout Abdur-Rahkman made a big shot from the corner to put U-M up one, but that was quickly answered by Harrison in transition. Two possessions for both teams resulted in two points from down low, but Irvin hit the biggest three point shot of the game with 40 seconds left to give Michigan a 62-58 lead. Walton and Duncan Robinson were intentionally fouled, and Tulsa couldn’t answer when it came down to the wire. Michigan came out on top 67-62. Shaquille Harrison finished with 23 points and 7 rebounds, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman had 16 points and 3 rebounds.