Michigan Basketball: All-time best games

In this final installment of The Best of Michigan Basketball, I will breakdown Michigan’s own Sweet 16 featuring their 16 best/most memorable games of all-time. If there is a game you think should be on this list let us know in the comments.

16 campyrussell20_fs Dec. 2nd 1972, Michigan vs. Notre Dame
Michigan defeated the Irish 96-87. What makes this game unique is that 5 Wolverines posted double-doubles. Campy Russell (18 points, 10 rebounds), Ernest Johnson (17 points, 13 rebounds), Ken Brady (20 points, 11 rebounds), Henry Wilmore (21 points, 12 rebounds), Joe Johnson (16 points, 11 assists).
This is the only time in school history that Michigan has had more than 3 players notch double-doubles in the same game.
15 baston_fs Jan. 24th 1995, Michigan at Indiana
Michigan defeated Indiana 65-52 and snapped the Hoosiers 50 game home-court winning streak. Michigan was led by Maceo Baston’s 13 point, 10 rebound, 2 block performance. Fab-fivers Ray Jackson and Jimmy King chipped in 13 and 10 points respectively.  Maurice Taylor scored 11 points and Dugan Fife chipped in 9 points and 2 assists.
14 riceIowa_fs Feb. 9th 1989, Michigan at IowaThe 10th ranked Wolverines defeated the 8th ranked Hawkeyes in Iowa City 108-107 in double-overtime. Michigan had 3 players score 20 points led by Glen Rice with 24 points and 7 rebounds. Sean Higgins tallied 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. Rumeal Robinson scored 20 points and dished out 7 assists. Terry Mills notched a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The key road win boosted Michigan’s record to 18-4.
13 capt_2522690523fe4101bc8dcc68fd2ab68c_ncaa_michigan_clemson_basketball_kcs145_fs March 19th 2009, Michigan vs. Clemson
Michigan returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 11 years and faced a bigger more athletic Clemson Tigers squad. The young Wolverines executed their coach’s game plan efficiently and defeated the higher seeded Tigers 62-59. Manny Harris led Michigan with 23 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists. Michigan would lose in the second round to Oklahoma.
12 cazzie33_fs Feb. 15th 1965, Michigan at Indiana
The #1 ranked Wolverines went to Indiana to face the #8 Hoosiers and Michigan won a thrilling double overtime game 96-95. Bill Buntin scored 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Cazzie Russell scored 23 points and secured 10 rebounds. Larry Tregoning scored 20 points and corralled 11 boards
11 tarpley42_fs Jan. 19th 1985, Michigan vs. Iowa
Michigan pulled out a 69-67 win in triple overtime. Roy Tarpley hit a game winning 10 foot bank shot off of an offensive rebound as time expired. Tarpley scored 21 points and pulled down 14 rebounds in the game. Gary Grant chipped in 14 points and 7 assists. Michigan posted a 26-4 record that season and went 16-2 in the Big Ten to capture the conference title.
10 novakDuke2_fs Dec. 6th 2008, Michigan vs. Duke
The 5-2 Wolverines had just lost to Duke 2 weeks prior. The Blue Devils came in with an 8-0 record and were ranked #4 in the country. Michigan defeated Duke 81-73 in front of a sold out Crisler Arena. DeShawn Sims was a force scoring 28 points and securing 14 rebounds. Manny Harris scored 17 points and Zack Novak chipped in 14 points, including 4 huge three-pointers. The win was Michigan’s second victory of the season over a Top 5 team and signaled to the nation that Michigan Basketball was back.
9 webber_fs Jan. 29th 1992, Michigan at Michigan State
During their freshmen season, The Fab Five led the 15th ranked Wolverines at East Lansing and defeated the 13th ranked Spartans in overtime. Knocking off a ranked rival on the road, made this the Fab Five’s first signature win. Jalen Rose scored 24 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, and dished out 7 assists in the victory. Chris Webber scored 21 points.
8 Dec. 13th 1997, Michigan vs. Duke
The unranked Michigan Wolverines knocked off the #1 ranked Blue Devils at Crisler Arena, 81-73. Robert Traylor (24 points, 13 rebounds) and Louis Bullock (23 points) paced the Wolverines. I guess you could call this the all-time sanction game. The game was vacated due to NCAA and U-M sanctions. Additionally all of Traylor and Bullock’s stats and records have been vacated. This is the only time Michigan has defeated a team that was ranked #1.
7 buntin2_fs Dec. 14th 1964, Michigan vs. Wichita State
In a classic #1 vs. #2 battle the top ranked Wolverines defeated #2 Wichita State 87-85. The game was played at Cobo Arena in Detroit. Cazzie Russell drained a jumper with 1 second left to give Michigan the victory.
Russell scored 28 points and had 9 rebounds. Bill Buntin totaled 22 points and 8 rebounds. Oliver Darden had 18 points and 7 rebounds.
6 001259558_fs Dec. 29th 1992, Michigan vs. North Carolina
The opening round of the Rainbow Classic featured an epic clash between the 5th ranked North Carolina Tar Heels and the 6th ranked Michigan Wolverines. The game went down to the wire and with 1 second left in regulation Jalen Rose grabbed an offensive rebound and banked in a shot that gave Michigan a 79-78 win. Rose finished the game with 22 points. Chris Webber paced Michigan with 27 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 blocked shots.
5 cazzie_fs March 19th 1965, Michigan vs. Princeton
Michigan made it to the final four for the second straight season. This time the Wolverines advanced to the National Championship game by defeating Princeton 93-76. Cazzie Russell poured in 28 points and hauled down 10 rebounds. Bill Buntin scored 22 points and corralled 14 rebounds. Michigan lost to UCLA in the National Championship game.
4 April 4th 1992, Michigan vs. Cincinnati
The brash Fab Five faced off against a veteran Bearcats team and pulled out a 76-72 win that advanced them to the National Championship. Jimmy King led Michigan with 17 points. Chris Webber scored 16 points and corralled 13 rebounds. Jalen Rose tallied 13 points and 9 rebounds. Michigan avoided a near disaster when James Voskuil fouled Nick Van Exel on a made three-pointer with 15 seconds left in the game. Van Exel missed the free throw that would have cut the lead to 76-73. Cincinnati did rebound the missed free throw but time ran out as the launched several missed three-pointers. The sensational freshmen led team lost to Duke in the National Championship game.
3 April 3rd 1993, Michigan vs. Kentucky
The 1993 Final Four was one of the greatest ever. It featured 3  #1 seeds (Michigan, Kentucky, North Carolina) and a #2 seed (Kansas). Michigan and Kentucky squared off in an epic battle in the National semi-finals. Michigan was able to overcome Jamal Mashburn’s 17 first half points to take a 5 point lead into the locker room. Michigan stormed out of the gates in the second half and pumped the lead up to 12 with 13 minutes left in the game. Kentucky raced back over the next 4 minutes to tie the game.
Michigan and Kentucky exchanged blows down the stretch as the lead changed hands 9 times in the final 10 minutes. With 3 seconds remaining in regualtion Kentucky’s Travis Ford drilled two free-throws to send the game into overtime.
Kentucky struck first in overtime taking a 4 point, which was their largest of the game. With about 3 minutes left in overtime Kentucky’s Jamal Mashburn fouled out. After Mashburn fouled out, Michigan went on a 9-2 run to seize control of the game. Michigan held on in the final moments for a thrilling 81-78 victory. Chris Webber and Jamal Mashburn were the stars of the game. Webber poured in 27 points and hauled down 13 rebounds. Mashburn scored 26 points. Jalen Rose chipped in 18 points for the Wolverines and Juwan Howard added 17 points.
Michigan lost to North Carolina in the National Championship game, which is famous for Webber calling time-out when Michigan was out of time-outs.
2 89final4_fs April 1st 1989, Michigan vs. Illinois
Michigan and Illinois squared off in this Final Four match-up. Illinois had defeated Michigan twice during the regular season but this time Michigan would come out on top with an 83-81 victory.
With the score tied at 81 Michigan’s Terry Mills missed a potential game winning shot. Sean Higgins grabbed the rebound and drilled a six-foot shot from the baseline with 2 seconds left to send Michigan to the National Championship game.
1 robinsonFT_fs April 3rd 1989, Michigan vs. Seton Hall
Michigan trailed 79-78 with 3 seconds left in overtime when Seton Hall’s Gerald Greene was called for a blocking foul that sent Rumeal Robinson to the line. Robinson drained both free throws to clinch Michigan’s first and only National Championship. Glen Rice, who was named the tournament’s MOP, scored 31 points and corralled 11 rebounds to lead the Wolverines. Rumeal Robinson finished with 21 points and 11 assists and went 9 for 10 from the free-throw line.

Be sure to check out the rest of the Best of Michigan Basketball series

10 Best Point Guards
10 Best Shooting Guards
10 Best Small Forwards
10 Best Power Forwards
10 Best Centers
10 Best Coaches
16 Best Games

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