DAYTON, Ohio – It might be Warde Manuel’s first week on the job as Michigan's athletic director, but he knows a thing or two about winning basketball.
In fact, under Manuel’s leadership at the University of Connecticut, the Huskies men’s basketball team won the 2014 national championship as a No. 7 seed.
So naturally, Manuel has high hopes for No. 11 Michigan vs. No. 11 Tulsa tonight in the play in game at University of Dayton Arena.
“I love it,” Manuel said when asked about U-M’s chances tonight versus Tulsa. “You know, all you need is a chance. I experienced that a few years ago with a seventh seed (UConn), whether it’s seven or 11 – you have a chance any given night you play well.”
And a big reason behind Manuel’s confidence, is the way the Wolverines played in the Big Ten tournament, where U-M earned a key victory against Big Ten regular season champion Indiana.
“I love that we played the way we played in the first couple games (of the Big Ten tournament),” Manuel said. “I think we have a chance against anybody in the country.”
Manuel also has the luxury of seeing Tulsa play against his former school UConn, when the Golden Hurricanes defeated the Huskies 60-51 on Jan. 14. So, what the scouting report on stopping Tulsa?
“Stop the guards,” Manuel said. “They have a very good guards as you’ll know, you’ll have scouted them better than I have. But they have very good guards. I think they have eight or nine seniors on the team. So very experienced.”
Adding: “So we just need to spread them out, slow them down cause they like to run. And I’ll let John (Beilein) to do the rest.”
Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press provided audio for this story