Tournament time has become Michigan's time

Tournament time has become Michigan's time
Greg Jackson, secondary coach University of Michigan. (Source: WTOL/Chris Balas)
Greg Jackson, secondary coach University of Michigan. (Source: WTOL/Chris Balas)

DAYTON, OH (AP) - Tournament time has become Michigan's time, especially those last few drama-packed seconds.

They've finally figured out how to handle them.

Zak Irvin hit a go-ahead 3-pointer and a pair of free throws in the closing minute as Michigan rallied at the end yet again on Wednesday night, beating Tulsa 67-62 in the First Four.

The Wolverines (23-12) made the leap from bubble team to the NCAA Tournament by pulling out a couple of close ones. They made a pair of end-game shots for wins in the Big Ten Tournament, including one by Irvin that beat Northwestern.

His 3-pointer this time put the Wolverines up 62-60 with 52 seconds to go. Irvin's two free throws with 10 seconds left sent the 11th-seeded Wolverines into matchup against rival Notre Dame in Brooklyn on Friday night. And if that one comes down to the final minute, nobody will count them out.

"I'm just proud of how all of us have been able to do this, starting in the Big Ten Tournament," said Irvin, one of four players in double figures with 16
points. "We've just got to keep that going forward."

Tulsa (20-12) got 23 points from Shaquille Harrison, but its senior-laden lineup couldn't keep up at the end.

There were five ties and 12 lead changes in the frantic second half.

After Irvin's go-ahead 3, the Golden Hurricane missed their next two shots and the Wolverines got the rebounds and hit the free throws to close it out.

"Michigan had more breaks than us," Tulsa coach Frank Haith said. "We didn't get the breaks, and that's what usually happens in those types of games."

Tulsa didn't even expect to get to the First Four after losing its opening game in the American Athletic Tournament. Harrison tweeted that the NIT was likely the next destination.

The Golden Hurricane had one advantage over Michigan - much more experience, with four starting seniors.

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