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NCAA Basketball Big 10 BasketballMichigan Wolverines

Tim Hardaway Jr. Returns for Michigan Wolverines, Leads Blowout of Northwestern

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan Wolverines continued its undefeated 2012-2013 NCAA Basketball season. The team looked impressive with a 94-66 win over Big Ten rival Northwestern. The Wolverines are now 14-0 on the season and started conference play with a 1-0 record.

The bigger news for the Wolverines was the return of guard Tim Hardaway Jr. In the Wolverine’s earlier match-up against Central Michigan University, Hardaway did not dress and sat out with an ankle injury. Hardaway returned Thursday night and looked like the injury didn’t bother him.

Hardaway Jr. had 21 points against Northwestern and was the second leading scorer for Michigan behind Trey Burke (23 points). Hardaway Jr. also added four assists and played over 30 minutes in the game. Hardaway ended the game 6-8 in shooting and 4-5 from behind the three point line.

It seems that Burke was happy to have his back court partner back. Burke said, “Just to see him back out there after his injury. Back in action, back in the groove, it was great.”

Earlier I wrote that Michigan wasn’t worried about Hardaway Jr.’s injury, but after tonight’s performance the team should be happy they have him now that conference play has started. Michigan will face Iowa next on Sunday. The Iowa Hawkeyes gave Indiana a run for their money, despite a poor shooting performance from their leading scorer.

With the impressive win, it begins to look more likely that Michigan has a chance at an undefeated season. In my Big Ten projections, I had Michigan finishing first in the Big Ten with a 16-2 record. I predicted Northwestern to finish ninth with a 4-14 record. The Big Ten will be tough, but Michigan should win the conference.

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