Trey Burke went the entire first half without scoring – and may have still been the best player on the court.
The Michigan guard was setting up his teammates, and by the time Burke made a few shots of his own, the Wolverines were well on their way to another impressive victory.
Burke finished with 18 points and a career-high 11 assists without a turnover, and No. 3 Michigan held off a late rally by No. 18 North Carolina State in a 79-72 win Tuesday in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Freshman Nik Stauskas led the Wolverines (6-0) with 20 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 16, but it was Burke who controlled the game, equaling his previous career high of nine assists in the first half.
“I thought his pace tonight was terrific,” Michigan coach John Beilein said. “He’s got to trust the guys around him, and he does.”
N.C. State (4-2) trailed 73-58 before going on a 10-0 run capped by T.J. Warren’s layup with 2:11 remaining. Hardaway answered with a driving bank shot.
It was 75-70 when the Wolfpack forced a turnover and called a timeout with 54.4 seconds to play, but C.J. Leslie was called for an offensive foul.
N.C. State shot 57 percent from the field but lost its fifth straight game in the ACC-Big Ten challenge. Warren led the Wolfpack with 18 points.
(1) Indiana 83, (14) North Carolina 59: Cody Zeller had 20 points and eight rebounds, leading the top-ranked Hoosiers to a stunning rout of the Tar Heels in Bloomington, Ind., in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey both added 19 points for the Hoosiers (7-0), who have won 34 consecutive November games at home.
The Tar Heels (5-2) were led by Dexter Strickland with 14 points and Marcus Paige with 11 – not nearly enough when North Carolina managed three points and one field goal – a tip-in that Indiana may have gotten a hand on – in the first 81/2 minutes of the second half.
For 16 minutes, two of the nation’s most storied college programs – they have combined for 10 national titles and have a combined 3,767 all-time wins – battled to a 31-31 draw.
But Zeller scored six points in a 15-6 run to close the first half and played a key role in the Hoosiers’ 13-0 spurt to open the second half that turned the game.