Michigan basketball (25-6, 12-6) had a chance to tie for a share of the Big Ten title for the second consecutive year but got the yips at the free throw line late, missed a couple of layups in the final seconds, and ended up watching Indiana (26-5, 14-4) celebrate on their home floor as they took the Big Ten title outright. Indiana raced off the court knowing that they stole one from the Wolverines by a final score of 72-71.
How They Lost
Free throws. Michigan missed 3 of their last 4 from the charity stripe. What they should have been doing was icing the game. What they ended up doing was giving it away.
With Michigan up 70-66 and inbounding the ball, Glenn Robinson III broke from the pack and had a breakaway layup. He was fouled from behind in what arguably could have been an intentional foul that would have all but ended the game. Instead, Robinson was given two free throws and missed the first and made the second to put Michigan up 71-66.
That would be the last point Michigan would score. Cody Zeller put back his own miss to bring IU within 3 and then Tim Hardaway, Jr. was fouled. He missed the front end of the 1-and-1. Zeller worked yet another foul on the other end and made both freebies to cut the lead to 71-70. This time it was Trey Burke who was fouled and he followed suit by missing the front end of his 1-and-1 to give IU a chance.
Zeller connected on a layup with about 13 seconds left on the game clock. With no timeouts remaining, Burke took the inbound pass, raced down court and into Zeller while trying to make a scooping left-handed layup. He missed and Jordan Morgan’s put-back attempt hung agonizingly on the rim before falling to the wayside.
Game over. Big Ten title out of reach. Thursday bye in the Big Ten Tournament gone.
May that be the last bucket we see Trey Burke attempt at the Crisler Center? Probably. He worked hard in the 2nd half keeping Michigan close and ultimately falling just short. 16 of his 20 points came after halftime.
Indiana had every answer with Zeller and the dynamic play of Victor Oladipo. Zeller drew fouls time and time again and finished with 25 points and 10 boards. Oladipo joined the double-double party with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
This marquee matchup was the final one of many during this Big Ten season and it did not disappoint in terms of drama and quality of play. Michigan will now turn their focus toward the Big Ten Tournament where they will face off with none other than Penn State, the same team who Michigan gave their only Big Ten win of the season to.
Michigan’s 3 Stars
- Trey Burke – Burke had to work hard all game and nearly pulled off the game-winner but just missed, as he has several times throughout his career. He ended the game with 20 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and 1 block. He did turn the ball over 4 times but all of those came in the first half. Burke was 5-8 from three point range.
- Glenn Robinson III – GR3 really battled on the boards and might have played his best game against top-tier competition. He had 13 points and 5 boards on the day.
- Jordan Morgan – Morgan had to contend with Zeller all game long and the series of whistles that comes with that task. Morgan finished with 8 points and 8 boards (6 offensive). His potential game-winning tap back sat so precariously on the rim that it seemed as though it could have fallen either way.
News and Notes
- Nik Stauskas had a big first half with 10 points but finished with just 12.
- Hardaway had 11 points including a coast-to-coast layup that put Michigan up by 4 and seemed to provide all of the momentum needed for the win.
- As a team, Michigan shot 7-13 from the free throw line including 1-4 down the stretch.
- Indiana crushed Michigan on the glass, out-rebounding the Wolverines 53-30 including a staggering 24 offensive rebounds.
- Michigan won the turnover battle, 6-14.
- Michigan scored 19 points off of turnovers to just 6 for IU.
- Indiana netted 17 points as a result of offensive rebounding to Michigan’s 11.
- Indiana’s bench out-scored Michigan’s 15-7.
- The Wolverines combined for 12 steals and blocks to just 4 for Indiana.
- Michigan has now lost 2 consecutive senior day games, both against teams from Indiana, both times ending their perfect home record.
Michigan now has to play as the 5-seed in the Big Ten Tournament against Penn State. Tip time is set for approximately 2:30 eastern.
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