It was supposed to be Trey Burke vs. Nate Wolters, but it turned into the Glenn Robinson III and Tim Hardaway Jr. show.
Those two combined for 42 points on 16-21 shooting from the floor and 8-10 from three, leading No. 4 seed Michigan past No. 13 seed South Dakota State 71-56. The Wolverines will advance to take on the winner of No. 5 VCU and No. 12 Akron tonight.
The performance of Michigan’s supporting cast — Mitch McGary also chipped in with 13 points and nine boards — is huge. As good as Burke has been all season long, the Wolverines cannot make a deep run into the tournament without having a second and a third option offensively.
But, frankly, that’s not the story of this game.
The story is the disappointment of every college hoops fan that the matchup of the day turned into an epic bust. Wolters was 3-14 from the floor and finished with just 10 points. Burke was 2-12 from the floor and finished with six points. Quite a performance, guys.
Ironically enough, Wolters may have actually improved his draft stock. The question for him isn’t whether or not he will be able to score at the next level. His issue is on the defensive end; scouts are exactly convinced watching the slow-footed, bigger Wolters on tape defending Summit League point guards.
But he held his own against Burke, at least during the time that Burke was still looking to score. That 2-12 performance from Burke speaks for itself.
At least someone got something out of the most-hyped matchup of the day.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.