New York, NY – Trey Burke netted 17 points and fourth-ranked Michigan held off Pittsburgh, 67-62, in the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip- Off.
Tim Hardaway Jr. tacked on 16 points and Nik Stauskas scored 15 for the Wolverines (4-0), who will face Kansas State in the championship game Friday. The Wildcats edged Delaware, 66-63, in the other semifinal.
"We sort of anticipated that type of defensive struggle. They really guarded us well," Wolverines coach John Beilein said. "I'm really proud of the way we handled the comeback, got ahead and made our foul shots down the stretch."
Lamar Patterson scored 14 for the Panthers (4-1), who faltered after holding a seven-point lead in the second half.
"I think this is a good game for us. We got some good performances," Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon said.
Patterson's 3-pointer had the Panthers within 48-47 with under seven minutes left, but Michigan responded with an 11-3 burst over the next six minutes.
Despite being down, 59-50, Pittsburgh got back into the contest and made it a one-possession game when Tray Woodall nailed a 3-pointer from the right wing with 30.6 seconds to go.
But the Wolverines were able to stave off the Panthers thanks to making all 10 of their free throws over the final 1 1/2 minutes.
James Robinson scored a layup with 10.9 seconds left for a 63-60 difference, but Stauskas made a pair from the charity stripe. After another Robinson layup, this one with 3.5 to go, Burke sealed the outcome at the foul line.
Pittsburgh held a 33-29 lead at the half and upped the margin to seven on Patterson's 3-point play to start the second period.
Pittsburgh is 6-12 all-time vs. Michigan in a series which began in 1925. The last meeting between the two schools was on Dec. 30, 1996, an 85-76 Pitt win in the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu ... Glenn Robinson III scored 13 for Michigan, which went 3-of-17 from beyond the arc.