INDIANAPOLIS – The Michigan basketball team overcame a slow start Thursday to defeat No. 6 seed Colorado State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Michigan earned a No. 11 seed after a 17-14 regular season, but it got blitzed out of the gates by the hot-shooting Rams. The Wolverines struggled offensively the first 10 minutes without starting point guard DeVante’ Jones and dug a 15-point hole.
Thanks to a late first-half surge by freshman point guard Frankie Collins, Michigan trailed by only seven points at halftime, despite turning the ball over eight times and going without a three-pointer.
In the second half, Michigan chipped away at the Colorado State lead behind a strong performance from Hunter Dickinson. Collins hit the team’s first three, paving the way for Caleb Houstan to hit a pair of them on back-to-back possessions to give Michigan its first lead.
That felt like the turning point of the game, as Michigan used Dickinson’s inside presence and a strong showing at the free throw line to methodically widen the gap toward the finish line.
Dickinson led Michigan with 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting. He also had six rebounds and four blocks.
Eli Brooks made five of 13 shot attempts for 16 points. He chipped in seven boards, six assists and a pair of steals.
Collins went 6-of-7 for 14 points, while Houstan scored 13.
Michigan will play the winner of No. 3 Tennessee and No. 14 Longwood on Saturday.