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2013 NCAA Tournament Recap: Michigan Shuts Down Wolters, South Dakota State

Nate Wolters and Trey Burke didn't exactly have the games we would expect from the two stars, but the result was the same. Michigan closed out the Jackrabbits.


The result wasn't shocking. Michigan should have beaten South Dakota State.

It was the method that didn't have any logic to it.

Trey Burke went just 2-for-12 from the floor and scored six points on the night. This was a player that, as we told you, was worth 10 wins to the team this season. He barely made a dent in in the scorebook.

Sure, he dished seven assists, enabling the second-generation stars to get free. That would be Glenn Robinson III and Tim Hardaway Jr. Both offspring of NBA stars scored 21 points to close out the Jackrabbits.

The only way that South Dakota State stood a chance was to get a big night from Nate Wolters. He can win games by himself, especially when the opponents' best player is held in check.

And yet, that didn't happen, which is why we are writing about a 71-56 victory for Michigan rather than celebrating an upset.

The captain on the Mid-Major 5 scored 10 points, and shot on par with his counterpart. Wolter was just 3 of 14 from the floor and didn't make a single 3-point shot. He did have six assists, but the rest of the Jackrabbits weren't going to win this one without their star. They needed a big game from Wolters; it didn't happen.

Outmatched? You bet, but about as much you you would think when you looked at the two names on the scoreboard. Michigan had just nine turnovers on the night. The Jackrabbit defense couldn't do much to stop them.

The triple slash shooting for the Wolverines was 50/45/66.7. And to think that includes the bad night from Burke.

What this won't do is hurt Nate Wolter's draft status. He could have helped his cause with an amazing game against the Wolverines tonight. He could have moved up, perhaps getting into the early part of the second round.

He might even have had a chance at a guaranteed contract.

That won't happen now, but one night like this won't dictate what he can do in the NBA. Surrounded with more talent, with players that could help take all of the focus off of him, he could be much more effective. Think how much better his best games could have been with four other pros on the floor, ones that could have taken even more heat.

We knew this was coming when we wrote the preview. It just hurts to see it end like this for one of the mid-major best.