College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, January 1, 2012
The Michigan Wolverines are hoping to get back to the kind of quality team that was a regular at the NVAA tournament, but they've only been to the tournament twice since 1998 - in 2009 and 2011 - both times being beaten in the second round.
This season's vintage of Wolverine basketball may make a better showing, especially if they begin shooting the ball better. In Sunday's 61-56 win over Minnesota, the Wolverines shot just 38.5% from the field, but were bailed out by Trey Burke's sharpshooting.
The 6'1" freshman guard scored a game high and career-best 27 points on 8-for-11 shooting, including going 2-for-2 from outside the 3-point line and making 9 of 11 free throws. While Burke was efficient, the rest of the Michigan squad sot a combined 12-for-41 for the game, making just 4 of 18 3-point attempts and hitting 6 of 12 from the foul line.
The Wolverines, ranked 18th in the latest AP poll, won their seventh straight, improving to 12-2 and 2-0 in the Big Ten. Their next two games are both against ranked opponents. Michigan travels to Indiana on January 5 and then returns home for a meeting with Wisconsin on January 8.
NOTABLE: Once a top 10 team, the Pittsburgh Panthers have hit a rough spot in their schedule, losing their last three straight, including Sunday's 66-63 loss to 13-2 Cincinnati. The two previous losses were to Wagner and Notre Dame, after the Panthers had won nine straight and were cruising with an 11-1 record. Now, at 11-4, he Panthers are in danger of falling out of the Top 25.