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March 20, 2009 - Image 8

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8 - Friday, March 20, 2009

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Harris leads 'M' to Tourney win

By JASON KOHLER
Daily Sports Writer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The
Michigan men's basketball team
saw its NCAA Tournament hopes
melting before its eyes.
After earning their first bid to
the Big Dance in 11 years, the Wol-
verines nearly let a 16-point lead
against Clemson slip away down
the stretch.
That was until sophomore for-
ward Manny Harris put Michi-
gan's
postsea- MICHIGAN 62
son fate CLEMSON 59
squarely
on his shoulders in the final min-
ute of the game.
As he jumped to the basket with
37 seconds left, he and the 10th-
seeded Wolverines rose above
beingthe underdogsinyesterday's
game and rose above demons of
the program's past. And with one
flick of the wrist, Harris sealed
Michigan's first tournament win
in over a decade.
He drew a foul and banked in a
shot in the lane to propel the Wol-
verines to a 62-59 win over No. 7
seed Clemson last night. Harris
scored 23 points, dished six assists
and grabbed seven rebounds.
"Manny did tonight what he
was doing all year," fifth-year
senior guard C.J Lee said. "We
ask so much from him on a daily
basis. He did a remarkable job of
knowing when it was his time to
takeover."
The win is Michigan's first
tournament victory since it
knocked off Davidson in the first
round in 1998.

"Finally," redshirt sophomore
Anthony Wright said. "This is
just for the team, the coaches,
Ann Arbor, the state of Michi-
gan. Just giving back to the fans
because they've been waiting for
this opportunity and it's good to
just give it back to them."
But that "finally" almost didn't
happen. The Wolverines barely
made the field of 65, but they ral-
lied by reeling off six wins in their
last nine games. And if Michigan
lost, many fans still would have
viewed this season as a success.
"To a lot of people, it probably
feels like that," Harris said. "To
ourselves, we expected to win."
For much of the second half, it
looked like the Wolverines would
cruise to a victory. With 12:51
left in the second half, Michigan
held a 16-point lead and seemed
unstoppable.
The 16-4 run by the Wolverines
to start the half climaxed when
Clemson guard Terrence Oglesby,
the team's third-leading scorer,
was ejected for elbowing fresh-
man Stu Douglass.
It was a feeling with which
Michigan could empathize. Har-
ris was ejected for elbowing Pur-
due's Chris Kramer in the face
earlier in the season.
"It's frustrating," Harris said.
"You know there's nothing you
can do at that point. The only
thing you can do is pray and hope
that your team can win."
But any prayers by Oglesby
were nearly answered.
In a span of one minute and
23 seconds, Clemson hit three
3-pointers to cut its deficit to six.
"It was a quick thought when

they started making the run, that
'Hey, this could be the last time,' "
fifth-year senior guard David
Merritt said.
The Tigers grabbed five offen-
sive rebounds and center Trevor
Booker scored six points in the
last three minutes to cut Michi-
gan's lead to just one before Har-
ris hit his floater.
Clemson's domination of the
glass piqued at the end, but it was
a problem for the Wolverines all
night. On a possession in the first
half, the Tigers grabbed three
offensive rebounds.
Beilein was furious, direct-
ing his anger at Sims, who wasn't
crashing the boards for rebounds.
"E'very time the ball goes up,'
you're getting out of there," Bei-
lein said as Sims came to the
bench.
Clemson out-rebounded the
Wolverines 44-33, including 21-9
on the offensive glass.
But Beilein has stressed all
season he doesn't mind being out-
rebounded if his team is making
shots.
And the Wolverines did just
that. Led by Harris, who hit 7-of-
15 attempts, Michigan made 39.2
of its shots. Clemson finished with
a 32.3 field-goal percentage.
The Wolverines will face No.
2 seed Oklahoma in the second
round of the NCAA Tournament
at 5:50 p.m. Saturday.
And though the Sooners boast
Player of the Year candidate Blake
Griffin, the Wolverines don't
expect to lose.
"We're not just here to win
one," Merritt said. "We're here to
win another one."

Sooners, Griffin pose a
big test in second round

By ALEX PROSPERI
Daily Sports Writer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Michi-
gan's fifth-year seniors C.J. Lee
and David Merritt almost played
in their last col-
legiategamelast
night against Michigan vs.
Clemson. Oklahoma
For a moment
during Michi- Matchup:
gan's 62-59 win Michigan 21-13;
over the Tigers,Oklahoma28-5
Merritt thought When: Saturday
that was the 5:50 P.M.
case. Where: Kansas
"Actually, City, Mo.
it was a quick. TV: CBS
thought when Live Blog:
they started http://thegame.
making their blogs.michi-
run," Merritt gandaily.com
said of Clem-
son's 11-0 run
late in the second half. " 'Oh, this
could be the last time.'"
Michigan will face No. 2 seed
Oklahoma at 5:50 Saturday in the
second round of the NCAA Tour-
nament. Oklahoma beat Morgan
State last night, 82-54.
Tt ---e I..t An v:t nA 0

Wolverines (21-13) will have their
hands full during their second-
round game on Saturday.
The seventh-ranked Sooners
(28-5) are led by Blake Griffin, a
candidate for NCAA Player of the
Year and the possible No. 1 pick
in the NBA Draft. The 6-foot-
10 power forward averages 21.9
points and 14.3 rebounds per
game.
Michigan doesn't have a single
player who matches up well with
Griffin, so the Wolverines will
probably look to contain him as a
team.
Michigan will likely deploy
an array of defensive schemes to
slow him.
After winning 25 of its first 26
games, Oklahoma lost four of its
last six to limp into the NCAA
Tournament. The Sooners' most
recent loss was by one point to
Oklahoma State in the Big 12
Tournament quarterfinals.
"It'll be a great matchup," red-
shirt sophomore Anthony Wright
said. "Once again, two contrast-
ing styles. And we'll see whatever
coach has planned for us after
tonight."
Roh A -:os nA T nn c A -

team will enjoy the win, but will
quickly shift its focus toward
Oklahoma. Michigan coach John
Beilein had three full days to pre-
pare for Clemson and its quick
full-court press. Now he has part
of Thursday night, Friday and
part of Saturday to prepare for
one of the nation's best teams.
And Griffin isn't Oklahoma's lone
weapon.
Big 12 Freshman of the Year
Willie Warren plays sidekick to
Griffin. Warren averages 14.7
points per game and is one of the
best guards in the conference.
He's quick, physical and scored
20 or more points in seven differ-
ent occasions.
Blake's older brother, Taylor,
brings down six rebounds per
game and scores 9.6 per contest.
And 6-foot-3 point guard Austin
Johnson is tied for 15th in the
nation with an assist-to-turnover
ratio of 2.55:1.
The Sooners are coached by
former Duke star Jeff Capel, who
has taken Oklahoma to a new level
in just his third season.
Michigan could have come to
Kansas City and been satisfied
with just making the Big Dance
for the first time in 11 years.
And although the Wolverines
came here to win, Saturday's
contest won't be easy.
"Obviously, we're going to
enjoy this now," Lee said. "But
after today, it's over. We're
onto our next game. Like we
said before Clemson, the only
game we're guaranteed is our
next one. Our focus needs to
start when we get back to the
hotel."

CLIF REED R/D
Junior DeShawn Sims dunks against Clemson in the second half of Michigan's 62-59 upset of he Tigers.
Hogan key to CCH A playoff run

By CHRIS MESZAROS
DailySports Writer
This weekend's CCHA Champi-
onship at Joe Louis Arena will be a
battleground for top goaltenders.
One of them was named CCHA
Player of the Year - Alaska's Chad
Johnson.
Another was a finalist for the
award - Notre Dame's Jordan
Pearce.
The third nearly single-handedly
brought his team from last place in
the CCHA to the conference tourna-
ment semifinals - Northern Michi-
gan's Brian Stewart.
And then there's Michigan soph-
omore Bryan Hogan.
Although Hogan certainly isn't
a slouch among this group of all-
star goalies, he's the most over-
looked of the four. The Wolverines'
CCHA-best 140 goals on the season
overshadow Hogan's .917 save per-
centage.
The fourth-ranked Wolverines
(20-8-0 CCHA, 28-10-0 overall)
will face Alaska, led by Johnson and
his conference-leading .939 save
percentage, in the CCHA semifinals

tonight.
"I'm not on all the media pipe-
lines, soI can't tell you who's talking
about who," Michigan coach Red
Berenson said. "But I like Hogie.
If I had a choice of the goalies, I'd
take him. Obviously Chad Johnson's
had a terrific year and has been an
important player from Alaska, but
not the only reason."
Last weekend,in the Wolverines'
CCHA Tournament quarterfinals
sweep against Western Michigan,
there were times it seemed like
Hogan could fall asleep in the net.
Hogan didn't face any shots in the
first period of Saturday's game and
stopped just 32 in the entire series.
On the other hand, Bronco goalten-
der Riley Gill faced 103 total shots
from the Wolverines on the week-
end.
But Hogan said he'd rather face
a higher number of shots.
"Every once in a while, you'd
love to steal a game, but with us,
it's a tough game to play," Hogan
said. "Billy (Sauer) and I talk about
it - how we only get 15 to 18 shots
a game now in the playoffs. And
of course, the other goalie looks

like he's having a really hard time
down there. But I think we get
overlooked by the fact that we're in
a tough position because we're try-
ing to stay in the game and have to
make one or two big stops to keep
our team in it."
Once again Hogan probably
won't face too many shots tonight.
Alaska (13-10-5-3, 17-14-6) is 11th
of the 12 CCHA teams in goals per
game. But in both of the Nanooks'
wins against Ohio State last week-
end, the defense led the way, shut-
ting down the Buckeyes in 4-0 and
1-0 wins.
There's no question Michigan
has the offense to advance far into
the NCAA playoffs, but the ques-
tion remains if Hogan is up to the
task of stealing a game if the Wol-
verines need it down the stretch.
"He's going to do the best he can
to keep the puck out of our own
net," junior co-captain Chris Sum-
mers said. "Whether we're scoring
up front or not, his main focus is
defense first. Obviously he has to
rely on us to put the pucks in but
he's just got to do his job and keep
pucks out."

ALBO R
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University Opera Theatre - Directed by Robert Swedberg
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Mar. 19 at 7:30pm - Mar. 20 & 21 at8pm
Mar. 22 at 2 pm -Mendelssohn Theatre
Tickets $24 and $18 Students $9 with ID
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