Tigers lose first round in Maui
By: Adrienne Brown, @EvataTigerRawr
Playing the first game in Maui Invitational Tournament, there was hope for an upset to set the tone for the tournament. The #8 Wolverines are looked at as “the black sheep” of the Big Ten with a record of 3-0. The Tigers, on the other hand, are looked at as the big dogs of Conference-USA. Their record is now 1-1. After 40 minutes of gameplay, #15 Michigan beat the Tigers 73-61.
The Tigers have only played against the Belmont Bruins outside the tournament. Their on-court and performances and improvement from key players landed them a spot in the Top 10. Last year their offense was the worst in the conference. This year, they hope have sophomores Joe Jackson and Tarik Black to step up. Jackson made many mistakes a freshman but evolved to a star his sophomore year. Unfortunately, the Tigers lost their defensive chops well into the second half causing them to lose the chance to move on in the tournament.
The Wolverines best-case scenario actually played out in the second half. Memphis came in offensively strong until Michigan shut them down. Their season has been fairly easy so people weren’t sure how the team would react to a top ten seat. Tim Hardaway Jr. was their top score pouring in 21 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. Burke was a hopeful key player in this game as well. He is a starting freshman point guard carrying the team to offensive success. With both of these players starting, Michigan will get more chances to compete against higher ranked teams.
Next up, the Wolverines take on Duke Blue Devils in the semi-finals on Tuesday night. Tip off is scheduled for 7 pm.
© 2011, @BWyche. All rights reserved.