Upset: Second-half surge sends Michigan basketball to round of 32

15-point comeback victory is largest in NCAA Tournament since 2018

Michigan center Hunter Dickinson (1) celebrates with teammate Frankie Collins, right, during the second half of a college basketball game against Colorado State in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Indianapolis, Thursday, March 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) (Michael Conroy, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Indianapolis, Ind. – A second-half surge sent the Michigan Wolverines to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after they defeated No. 6 seed Colorado State, 75-63, in the opening round.

The win ties a school record with at least one victory in six straight tournaments.

In the first half, the Wolverines looked stagnant. The ball movement mirrored a snail, while the Rams continued to knock down shot after shot, taking a 28-13 lead early.

“We were stagnant because (Colorado State) had a great defense,” said head coach Juwan Howard. “(The Rams) are a very competitive team, very skilled team, and they’re well-coached.”

After trailing the Rams by 15 points in the first half, Michigan outscored Colorado 62-35 the rest of the way.

Read: Michigan basketball erases 15-point deficit to beat Colorado State in first round of NCAA Tournament

The 15-point comeback is the largest in the men’s NCAA Tournament since 2018.

Howard said Michigan had to get back to its habits to get back into the game.

“Defensively, we had to do a better job against that three-point line,” Howard said. “Offensively, we needed to take our time. We gifted them too many possessions with our nine turnovers as well as (Colorado State) sped us up. What’s been our meat and potatoes has been our inside play, and our guys really rallied together led by Hunter Dickinson.”

Dickinson led all scorers with 21 points on 8-10 shooting from the field.

But the main story was freshman guard Frankie Collins, who made his first start of the season on the biggest stage of his young collegiate career.

“I’ve always been impressed with his skill set, and I think his style fits our style of play,” Howard said.

Read: Freshman Frankie Collins keeps Michigan basketball season alive in first round of NCAA Tournament

Collins stepped in for injured point guard DeVante’ Jones, who didn’t travel with the team to Indianapolis after suffering a concussion in practice from an inadvertent elbow to the nose.

Collins dropped 14 points while notching six rebounds to help the men in maize advance to the next round.

“They just told me to be Frankie, and I felt great going into the game,” Collins told the Associated Press. “It’s just basketball. I’ve been practicing and playing basketball my whole life, so it’s just going out there doing the things I’ve been working on my whole career.”

The Wolverines will face Tennessee Saturday (March 19) in the round of 32 for a chance to become the sixth double-digit seed to advance to the Sweet 16, which would be their fifth consecutive appearance.

More: BPI ranks Michigan among double-digit seeds with best chance to reach Sweet 16

About the Author:

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.