NEW YORK — The fourth-ranked Michigan Wolverines showed why they’re a top-five team on Friday night, as they cruised to a 71-57 win over the Kansas State Wildcats in the NIT Season Tip-Off Championship at Madison Square Garden.
Kansas State couldn’t make any shots, and Michigan couldn’t miss for the most part. The Wolverines jumped out to a 15-5 lead on a layup by senior guard Matt Vogrich with 11:16 to play in the first half.
The Wildcats (5-1, 0-0 away) responded with a 15-7 run to pull within a bucket at the 5:37 mark. Michigan took a 29-24 lead into the break.
The Wolverines (5-0, 3-0 home) poured it on in the second half, with a 22-6 run that put them up 51-30 with 10:41 left to play. K-State went on a 7-0 run to pull within 14 points, but that’s as close as they would get.
Junior guard Tim Hardaway Jr. led Michigan with 23 points and seven rebounds, but left the game in the second half due to an apparent head injury. Senior guard Rodney McGruder led the Cats with 16 points and seven rebounds.
Michigan outrebounded K-State 40-28 and shot 51.8% from the field. K-State shot 36.7% from the field, and 22.2% from three-point range.
K-State returns home next Sunday to take on the USC Upstate Spartans at Bramlage Coliseum.