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Posts Tagged ‘Crisler Center’

Michigan hoops preview: #24 Ohio State

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

Michigan (13-13, 6-8) vs #25 Ohio State (19-7, 8-5)
Sunday, Feb. 22 | Ann Arbor, Mich. | 1 p.m. EST | CBS
63.9 Points/gm 78.0
(579-1,393) 41.6 Field Goal % 49.9 (756-1,515)
(200-571) 35.0 3-pt FG % 38.4 (186-485)
(303-404) 75.0 Free Throw % 67.5 (330-489)
11.7 FT Made/gm 12.7
30.7 Reb/gm 36.2
11.6 Assists/gm 16.4
9.8 Turnovers/gm 11.2
63.3 Points/gm 61.1
(612-,1369) 44.7 Field Goal % 39.0 (562-1,440)
(168-492) 34.1 3-pt FG % 31.5 (176-559)
34.0 Opp. Reb/gm 33.2
5.6 Steals/gm 8.1
1.8 Blocks/gm 5.3
Individual Leaders
Caris LeVert (14.8)*, Zak Irvin (13.5) Points/gm D’Angelo Russell (19.1), Marc Loving (11.2)
Caris LeVert (4.9)*, Derrick Walton Jr (4.7) Reb/gm D’Angelo Russell (5.8), Amir Williams (4.8)
*Out for season


Michigan’s season is lost, riding a five-game losing streak with just four games to play. At this point, it has been reduced to a fight to finish above .500 in order to sneak into the NIT. Ohio State is firmly in the NCAA Tournament field, and although they’re four games back of Wisconsin in the Big Ten, the Buckeyes have tournament seeding to fight for.

During the game, Michigan will honor the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Michigan basketball team that won the Big Ten championship and finished runner-up to UCLA in the NCAA Tournament, as well as the 30th anniversary of the 1985 team that also won the Big Ten title.

The Starters
Minutes Points FG% 3FG% FT% Reb Ast TO Blk Stl
D’Angelo Russell (G) 33.3 19.1 46.6 43.1 77.4 5.8 5.5 2.7 0.1 1.7
Marc Loving (F) 25.0 11.2 48.8 52.5 79.7 3.7 0.8 1.3 0.3 0.6
Sam Thompson (F) 31.4 10.2 48.6 25.0 62.7 3.7 2.0 1.2 0.9 1.3
Shannon Scott (G) 30.0 7.8 42.2 25.9 63.6 3.5 6.2 2.3 0.1 1.9
Amir Williams (C) 19.0 6.8 68.9 00.0 61.5 4.8 0.3 1.0 1.8 0.7
The Others
Minutes Points FG% 3FG% FT% Reb Ast TO Blk Stl
Jae’Sean Tate (F) 20.8 8.4 58.1 12.5 54.4 4.8 0.3 1.2 0.6 0.9
Kam Williams (G) 15.7 6.5 47.1 37.5 88.2 1.0 0.6 0.2 0.1 0.5
Keita Bates-Diop (F) 10.8 4.2 44.2 40.6 67.9 2.6 0.5 0.4 0.8 0.4
Anthony Lee (F) 11.0 3.4 62.0 00.0 52.6 2.3 0.1 0.6 0.4 0.1
Trey McDonald (C) 10.8 3.1 58.6 00.0 59.1 2.7 0.2 0.5 0.6 0.1
The Schedule
Date Opponent Score
Nov. 14 UMass Lowell W 92-55
Nov. 18 Marquette W 74-63
Nov. 23 Sacred Heart W 106-48
Nov. 26 Campbell W 91-64
Nov. 28 James Madison W 73-56
Dec. 2 at #5 Louisville^ L 55-64
Dec. 6 Colgate W 70-50
Dec. 10 High Point W 84-64
Dec. 13 Morehead State W 87-71
Dec. 17 North Carolina A&T W 97-55
Dec. 20 #24 North Carolina* L 74-82
Dec. 22 Miami (Ohio) W 93-55
Dec. 27 Wright State W 100-55
Dec. 30 Iowa L 65-71
Jan. 3 Illinois W 77-61
Jan. 6 at Minnesota W 74-72 OT
Jan. 10 at Indiana L 66-69
Jan. 13 Michigan W 71-52
Jan. 17 at Iowa L 67-76
Jan. 22 at Northwestern W 69-67
Jan. 25 #23 Indiana W 82-70
Jan. 29 #16 Maryland W 80-56
Feb. 4 at Purdue L 58-60
Feb. 8 at Rutgers W 79-60
Feb. 11 Penn State W 75-55
Feb. 14 at Michigan State L 56-59
Feb. 22 at Michigan
Feb. 26 Nebraska
Mar. 1 Purdue
Mar. 4 at Penn State
Mar. 8 #7 Wisconsin
*CBS Sports Classic, ^ACC-Big Ten Challenge

Ohio State won the season’s previous meeting, 71-52 in Columbus on Jan. 13. Michigan still had some hope entering that game with a 10-6 record and 3-1 in Big Ten play, but it would turn out to be the second-to-last game with Caris LeVert on the floor, and Derrick Walton Jr would bow out three games later. Since then, Michigan is just 3-7 and enters this afternoon’s game riding a five-game losing streak. Ohio State, meanwhile, has gone 6-3 since that game. The Buckeyes have had a full week off since losing to Michigan State on Valentine’s Day.

The Series

Michigan trails the all-time series 76-100, but has won three of the last four meetings. Michigan leads 46-37 all-time in games played in Ann Arbor. Although Michigan and Ohio State faced off twice last season, neither was in Ann Arbor as Michigan won 70-60 in Columbus during the regular season and 72-69 in the Big Ten Tournament semifinal. The last time Ohio State visited the Crisler Center, Michigan sent the Buckeyes home with a 76-74 overtime loss during the 2012-13 season. The last time Ohio State won in Ann Arbor was a 68-64 victory on Jan. 12, 2011.


• Ohio State ranks second in the Big Ten in scoring offense (78.0 points per game), scoring defense (61.1),  and scoring margin (plus-16.9)

• Ohio State leads the Big Ten in field goal percentage (49.9), while Michigan ranks second-to-last in field goal percentage defense (44.7)

• Ohio State ranks second the Big Ten in blocked shots (5.3 per game) and turnover margin (plus-4.46)

• D’Angelo Russell ranks second in the Big Ten with 19.1 points per game and leads the conference with 2.8 three-pointers made per game

• Shannon Scott leads the Big Ten with 6.2 assists per game and ranks third with 1.9 steals per game

• Marc Loving leads the Big Ten in three-point shooting (42-of-80 for 52.5 percent)

• Amir Williams ranks tied for second in the Big Ten in blocked shots per game (1.8)

Michigan hoops preview: Michigan State

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Michigan (13-12, 6-7) vs Michigan State (17-8, 8-4)
Tuesday, Feb. 17 | Ann Arbor, Mich. | 9:00 p.m. EST | ESPN
63.8 Points/gm 72.0
(560-1,345) 41.6 Field Goal % 47.1 (668-1,419)
(192-549) 35.0 3-pt FG % 40.0 (191-477)
(282-376) 75.0 Free Throw % 62.2 (273-439)
11.3 FT Made/gm 10.9
30.9 Reb/gm 39.0
11.7 Assists/gm 17.4
10.0 Turnovers/gm 12.4
62.6 Points/gm 61.2
(581-1,319) 44.0 Field Goal % 38.7 (523-1,350)
(162-474) 34.2 3-pt FG % 30.0 (138-460)
34.0 Opp. Reb/gm 30.8
5.6 Steals/gm 5.8
1.8 Blocks/gm 4.6
Individual Leaders
Caris LeVert (14.9)*, Zak Irvin (13.4) Points/gm Travis Trice (14.5), Denzel Valentine (13.4)
Caris LeVert (4.9)*, Derrick Walton Jr (4.7) Reb/gm Branden Dawson (10.0), Denzel Valentine (6.0)
*Out for season


Michigan is out of NCAA Tournament contention barring a Big Ten Tournament title, but the young Wolverines still have much to play for. As Drew Hallett pointed out, no current Michigan State player has won in Ann Arbor. Michigan has had the upper hand in the rivalry the past few seasons, and a win tonight would be five in a row at Crisler and seven of the past 11 overall for Michigan. Let’s take a look at Michigan State.

The Starters
Minutes Points FG% 3FG% FT% Reb Ast TO Blk Stl
Denzel Valentine 32.0 14.4 44.1 43.3 84.0 6.0 4.3 2.6 0.2 0.9
Travis Trice 32.8 13.4 38.1 36.7 68.4 3.4 5.4 1.6 0.2 1.3
Branden Dawson 30.5 11.9 53.2 00.0 44.4 10.0 1.9 2.0 1.5 1.4
Bryn Forbes 28.6 9.4 47.0 45.5 80.6 1.4 1.2 1.0 0.1 0.8
Gavin Schilling 18.4 6.0 60.2 00.0 48.2 4.4 0.5 1.1 1.8 0.3
The Others
Minutes Points FG% 3FG% FT% Reb Ast TO Blk Stl
Matt Costello 19.4 7.4 59.8 00.0 69.6 5.6 0.7 1.0 1.2 0.4
Marvin Clark Jr. 10.2 5.0 53.0 40.5 75.0 2.2 0.1 0.8 0.4 0.2
Javon Bess* 12.3 2.7 47.8 50.0 42.9 2.9 1.0 0.8 0.3 0.3
Lourawls Nairn Jr. 17.7 2.3 39.3 25.0 50.0 1.5 2.6 1.0 0.0 0.2
Alvin Ellis III 8.9 1.4 20.0 20.0 57.9 0.5 0.6 0.6 0.2 0.4
The Schedule
Date Opponent Score
Nov. 14 at Navy W 64-59
Nov. 18 #4 Duke* L 71-81
Nov. 21 Loyola (Ill) W 87-52
Nov. 24 Santa Clara W 79-52
Nov. 27 Rider# W 77-45
Nov. 28 Marquette# W 79-68
Nov. 30 #11 Kansas* L 56-61
Dec. 3 at Notre Dame^ L 78-79 OT
Dec. 6 Arkansas-Pine Bluff W 85-52
Dec. 14 Oakland W 87-61
Dec. 17 Eastern Michigan W 66-46
Dec. 20 Texas Southern L 64-71 OT
Dec. 22 Citadel W 82-56
Dec. 30 #12 Maryland L 66-68 2OT
Jan. 5 Indiana W 70-50
Jan. 8 at Iowa W 75-61
Jan. 11 Northwestern W 84-77 OT
Jan. 17 at #14 Maryland L 59-75
Jan. 21 Penn State W 66-60
Jan. 24 at Nebraska L 77-79
Jan. 29 at Rutgers W 71-51
Feb. 1 Michigan W 76-66 OT
Feb. 7 Illinois L 54-59
Feb. 10 at Northwestern W 68-44
Feb. 14 #23 Ohio State W 59-56
Feb. 17 at Michigan
Feb. 22 at Illinois
Feb. 26 Minnesota
Mar. 1 at #5 Wisconsin
Mar. 4 Purdue
Mar. 7 at #22 Indiana
*State Farm Champions Classic, #Orlando Classic, ^ACC/Big Ten Challenge

While the previous meeting has set off a four-game losing streak for Michigan, the Spartans have won three of four including that game. The only loss was a 59-54 home loss to Illinois, who Michigan lost to in overtime last Thursday. On Saturday, Michigan State topped Ohio State thanks to a three by Denzel Valentine with 3.2 seconds remaining.

The Series

Michigan leads the all-time series 97-76 and has won three of the last five meetings and six of the last 10. Michigan leads in games played in Ann Arbor, 60-28, and has won the last four. Michigan State won this season’s previous meeting, 76-66 in overtime in East Lansing.


• Michigan State ranks fifth in the Big Ten in scoring (72.0 points per game) and third in scoring defense (61.2)

• Michigan State ranks fourth in the Big Ten in field goal percentage (47.1 percent) and second in three-point percentage (40.0). The Spartans defense leads the Big Ten in opponent field goal percentage (38.7) and against the three (30.0).

• Michigan State is the Big Ten’s worst free throw shooting team, shooting just 62.2 percent

• Michigan State leads the Big Ten in rebounding margin (plus-8.2) and assists (17.4 per game). The Spartans lead the conference in defensive rebounds (27.1) and rank tied for third in offensive rebounds (11.9).

• Branden Dawson leads the Big Ten with an average of 10.0 rebounds per game. He’s the only player averaging double-digit rebounds and leads the conference in both offensive rebounds per game (3.2) and defensive rebounds per game (6.8 – tied with Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky)

• Travis Trice ranks third in the Big Ten in assists per game (5.4) and leads the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.3)

• Bryn Forbes ranks third in the Big Ten in three-point shooting percentage (45.5)

Michigan hoops preview: Northwestern

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

Michigan (10-7, 3-2) vs Northwestern (10-7, 1-3)
Saturday, Jan. 17 | Ann Arbor, Mich. | 8:15 p.m. EST | Big Ten Network
66.1 Points/gm 65.2
(388-926) 41.9 Field Goal % 43.1 (395-916)
(139-392) 35.5 3-pt FG % 34.4 (115-334)
(208-284) 73.2 Free Throw % 72.9 (204-280)
12.2 FT Made/gm 12.0
31.8 Reb/gm 35.3
12.7 Assists/gm 14.6
10.2 Turnovers/gm 11.5
62.8 Points/gm 62.4
(394-894) 44.1 Field Goal % 41.3 (375-907)
(115-325) 35.4 3-pt FG % 35.9 (98-273)
33.8 Opp. Reb/gm 32.7
6.2 Steals/gm 3.2
1.7 Blocks/gm 4.0
Individual Leaders
Caris LeVert (14.8), Zak Irvin (14.4) Points/gm Bryant McIntosh (12.4), Tre Demps (12.2)
Caris LeVert (4.8), Derrick Walton Jr (4.5) Reb/gm Alex Olah (7.2), Vic Law (5.0)


After winning both games last week, Michigan got demolished by Ohio State in Columbus on Tuesday and is in danger of falling to .500 in conference play with a loss tonight. Northwestern comes to town with an identical 10-7 overall record, but the Wildcats have just one Big Ten win so far. Michigan is going to have to play itself into the NCAA Tournament at this point, which means games like this are must-wins the rest of the season. Let’s take a look at Northwestern.

The Starters
Minutes Points FG% 3FG% FT% Reb Ast TO Blk Stl
Bryant McIntosh 32.9 12.4 32.9 42.2 85.7 2.7 4.5 2.9 0.3 0.2
Tre Demps 31.9 12.2 38.7 28.7 64.1 3.6 2.6 1.2 0.1 0.4
Alex Olah 27.9 10.3 46.8 35.0 72.5 7.2 1.5 1.8 1.7 0.4
Vic Law 24.5 6.6 36.2 20.5 80.6 5.0 1.5 1.6 0.6 0.4
Sanjay Lumpkin 27.4 6.4 57.4 36.4 71.0 4.8 1.2 0.8 0.3 0.8
The Others
Minutes Points FG% 3FG% FT% Reb Ast TO Blk Stl
JerShon Cobb 21.9 5.8 35.9 31.6 68.8 2.8 1.5 1.0 0.1 0.3
Nathan Taphorn 9.2 4.3 59.1 52.0 66.7 4.4 0.4 0.4 0.0 0.1
Scottie Lindsey 11.4 4.2 45.3 44.0 72.7 2.1 0.4 0.6 0.3 0.2
Dave Sobolewski 8.0 2.1 37.5 38.9 81.8 0.6 0.5 0.2 0.0 0.3
Gavin Skelly 8.4 1.9 50.0 00.0 54.5 2.4 0.4 0.4 0.8 0.3
The Schedule
Date Opponent Score
Nov. 14 Houston Baptist W 65-58
Nov. 17 at Brown W 69-56
Nov. 20 North Florida W 69-67
Nov. 22 Elon W 68-67 OT
Nov. 25 Miami (Ohio)* W 55-46
Nov. 26 Northern Illinois* L 42-61
Dec. 3 Georgia Tech^ L 58-66
Dec. 6 at #23 Butler L 56-65
Dec. 14 Missouri Valley State W 101-49
Dec. 17 Central Michigan L 67-80
Dec. 20 Western Michigan W 67-61
Dec. 22 UIC W 63-46
Dec. 27 Northern Kentucky W 76-55
Dec. 30 at Rutgers W 51-47
Jan. 4 #4 Wisconsin L 58-81
Jan. 11 at Michigan State L 77-84 OT
Jan. 14 Illinois L 67-72
Jan. 17 at Michigan
Jan. 22 Ohio State
Jan. 25 at #14 Maryland
Jan. 31 Purdue
Feb. 3 at Nebraska
Feb. 7 at #7 Wisconsin
Feb. 10 Michigan State
Feb. 15 Iowa
Feb. 18 at Minnesota
Feb. 21 Penn State
Feb. 25 Indiana
Feb. 28 at Illinois
Mar. 3 Michigan
Mar. 7 at Iowa
*Cancun Challenge, ^ACC-Big Ten Challenge

The only common opponent so far this season is Illinois. Michigan beat the Illini 73-65 in overtime to open Big Ten play, while Northwestern lost to their in-state rival 72-67 on Wednesday. The Wildcats don’t have a good win yet this season, having lost to the only ranked teams they have played, 23rd-ranked Butler, 65-56 on Dec. 6 and seventh-ranked Wisconsin 81-58 two weeks ago. They also lost their ACC/Big Ten Challenge matchup to Georgia Tech, 66-58.

The Series

Michigan leads the all-time series 108-56 and has won the last six matchups. Michigan also leads 62-20 in Ann Arbor. Last season, Michigan beat Northwestern 74-51 in the teams’ only meeting. The last time Northwestern beat the Wolverines was a 74-60 decision in Evanston on Jan. 18, 2011, and the last time Northwestern won at Crisler was on Jan. 10, 2010.


• Caris LeVert is the only player in a Power 5 conference (and one of six nationally) to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists, and blocks

• Northwestern is the second-lowest scoring team in the Big Ten, averaging 65.2 points per game. Michigan is the third-lowest.

• Northwestern ranks 11th in the Big Ten in field goal percentage (43.1 percent) and field goal percentage defense (41.3 percent)

• Northwestern ranks 9th in the Big Ten in three-point shooting (34.4 percent) and 13th in three-point shooting defense (30.8 percent)

• Northwestern ranks last in the Big Ten with just 55 steals (3.2 per game). The next closest team, Wisconsin, has 91 (5.1 per game). Michigan ranks 6th with 106 (6.2 per game)

• Northwestern ranks last in the Big Ten in turnover margin, averaging 0.94 more turnovers than their opponents per game

• Alex Olah ranks third in the Big Ten with 7.2 rebounds per game

Michigan hoops preview: Minnesota

Friday, January 9th, 2015

Michigan (9-6, 2-1) vs Minnesota (11-5, 0-3)
Saturday, Jan. 10 | Ann Arbor, Mich. | 1 p.m. EST | ESPN
67.3 Points/gm 79.9
(347-815) 42.6 Field Goal % 48.2 (469-974)
(129-348) 37.1 3-pt FG % 39.9 (121-303)
(186-258) 72.1 Free Throw % 64.8 (219-338)
12.4 FT Made/gm 13.7
31.8 Reb/gm 35.3
13.3 Assists/gm 18.6
10.1 Turnovers/gm 13.4
62.6 Points/gm 65.8
(347-788) 44.0 Field Goal % 41.5 (366-881)
(102-285) 35.8 3-pt FG % 33.7 (103-306)
33.4 Opp. Reb/gm 36.6
6.3 Steals/gm 11.7
1.8 Blocks/gm 4.1
Individual Leaders
Caris LeVert (14.8), Zak Irvin (14.7) Points/gm Maurice Walker (12.9), Carlos Morris (12.7)
Caris LeVert (5.1), Derrick Walton Jr (4.4) Reb/gm Maurice Walker (6.1), Andre Hollins (3.9)


Michigan picked up its first Big Ten road win of the season on Tuesday with a 73-64 win over Penn State. On Saturday afternoon, the Wolverines look for their first conference winning streak when they host Minnesota. Let’s take a look at the matchup.

The Starters
Minutes Points FG% 3FG% FT% Reb Ast TO Blk Stl
Maurice Walker 21.9 12.9 63.2 00.0 69.1 6.1 0.6 2.3 1.6 1.6
Carlos Morris 27.9 12.7 44.0 34.0 75.0 3.8 2.6 2.1 0.2 2.3
Andre Hollins 28.3 12.4 42.3 42.4 75.8 3.9 2.6 2.3 0.0 1.2
DeAndre Mathieu 29.6 9.9 49.6 47.1 73.2 2.9 5.7 2.1 0.0 2.6
Joey King 27.8 9.3 45.8 40.4 78.3 3.3 1.9 1.4 0.5 0.6
The Others
Minutes Points FG% 3FG% FT% Reb Ast TO Blk Stl
Nate Mason 24.0 10.0 44.1 45.3 61.5 3.4 2.8 0.9 0.1 2.2
Elliott Eliason 14.0 4.7 70.5 00.0 46.4 3.8 0.7 0.6 0.8 0.4
Charles Buggs 11.2 4.1 44.9 36.0 54.2 1.9 0.8 0.3 0.2 0.2
Bakary Konate 9.1 2.4 47.1 00.0 54.2 2.2 0.3 0.8 0.6 0.6

The same five players have started each game this season and Minnesota has four players averaging double figures. Fifth-year senior forward Maurice Walker is the leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 12.9 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. At 6’10”, 255-pounds, he has the size to give Michigan trouble inside. He’s coming off great performances against two of the better teams in the conference, Maryland and Ohio State, against which he combined to make 16-of-29 shots, score 38 points and grab 19 rebounds.

Junior guard Carlos Morris is the team’s second-leading scorer, averaging 12.7 points per game. Believe it or not, at 34 percent, the 6’5″, 175-pounder is the worst three-point shooter among the top five on the team. Part of that is due to a 2-of-10 three-point performance against Maryland. The most he has even attempted in any of the other 15 games is four. He has a season high of 24 points scored against UNC-Wilmington on Dec. 27, and scored 18 in that Maryland game. But he followed up that 21-shot outing by attempting just five shots against Ohio State on Tuesday and finishing with just six points.

Senior guard Andre Hollins (6’2″, 195) averages 12.4 points per game and is the most dangerous three-point shooter, leading the team with 36 made threes and 85 attempts. By comparison, Zak Irvin has made 40 on 111 attempts. Hollins has three 20-plus point games this season with a high of 27 against Wake Forest, but his scoring has fallen off a bit lately. He has averaged just 7.6 points per game in the last five. In the first three games of Big Ten play, he is shooting just 18.8 percent (6-of-32) from the field and 22.2 percent (4-of-18) from three-point.

Senior guard DeAndre Mathieu (5’9″, 170) is just under double digits at 9.9 points per game, but he fills the stat sheet in other ways as well. He leads the Big Ten with 5.7 assists and 2.6 steals per game and is shooting 49.6 percent from the field and 47.1 percent from three. He delivered his best scoring output of the season against Ohio State on Tuesday, scoring 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting.

The fifth starter is 6’9″, 235-pound junior forward Joey King. Like Hollins and Mathieu, he’s shooting over 40 percent from downtown (40.4 percent). He’s averaging 9.3 points per game, but after a 19-point game against Furman, he managed just three and five against Maryland and Ohio State, respectively.

Freshman guard Nate Mason (6’1″, 185) is the top man off the bench, averaging nearly starter minutes and 10 points per game. He ranks second on the team with 2.8 assists per game and third with 2.2 steals. He had a four-game stretch at the end of December in which he averaged nearly 15 points per game, but Maryland and Ohio State held him to a combined 3-of-14 shooting (0-of-5 three-point) and nine points.

No one else plays more than 14 minutes a game. Fifth-year senior Elliott Eliason (6’11”, 245) spells Walker down low, but averages just 4.7 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. While his season high is eight points, he scored 10 and eight in the two games against Michigan last season, including a 10-point, 10-rebound performance in the first one.

Redshirt sophomore Charles Buggs (6’9″, 220) and freshman Bakary Konate (6’11”, 225) also provide frontcourt minutes off the bench. The pair combine for 6.5 points and 4.1 rebounds in about 20 minutes per game.

The Schedule
Date Opponent Score
Nov. 14 #8 Louisville# L 68-81
Nov. 18 Western Kentucky W 76-54
Nov. 20 Franklin Pierce W 109-57
Nov. 22 UMBC W 69-51
Nov. 26 St. John’s* L 61-70
Nov. 28 Georgia* W 66-62
Dec. 2 at Wake Forest^ W 84-69
Dec. 5 Western Carolina W 84-64
Dec. 8 North Dakota W 82-56
Dec. 10 Southern W 85-57
Dec. 19 Seattle W 92-57
Dec. 22 Furman W 86-76
Dec. 27 UNCW W 108-82
Dec. 31 at Purdue L 68-72
Jan. 3 at #12 Maryland L 58-70
Jan. 6 #22 Ohio State L 72-74 OT
Jan. 10 at Michigan
Jan. 13 Iowa
Jan. 17 Rutgers
Jan. 20 at Nebraska
Jan. 24 Illinois
Jan. 28 at Penn State
Jan. 31 Nebraska
Feb. 7 Purdue
Feb. 12 at Iowa
Feb. 15 at Indiana
Feb. 18 Northwestern
Feb. 21 at #4 Wisconsin
Feb. 26 at Michigan State
Mar. 5 #4 Wisconsin
Mar. 8 Penn State
#Armed Forces Classic, *NIT Season Tip-Off, ^ACC-Big Ten Challenge

The only common opponent Michigan and Minnesota share so far this season is Purdue, and both lost to the Boilermakers on the road. Purdue came back from 11 points down in the second half to beat Minnesota by four, and then came back from an eight-point halftime deficit to beat Michigan by 13.

The Series

Michigan leads the all-time series 88-65 and carries a six-game winning streak over the Gophers into Saturday’s matchup. Michigan has won 10 of the past 11 meetings and leads the series 53-20 in Ann Arbor with the last home loss coming on Jan 22, 2011. Last season, Michigan beat Minnesota 63-60 in Minneapolis on Jan. 2 and 65-56 in Ann Arbor on March 1. John Beilein is 11-3 against Minnesota since becoming head coach at Michigan.


• Minnesota just missed the NCAA Tournament last season, but earned a No.1 seed in the NIT and won the whole thing, defeating fellow No.1s Florida State and SMU, in the process. The Gophers finished the season 25-13 overall and 8-10 in Big Ten play

• Minnesota has started the same five players in all 16 games this season

• Minnesota leads the Big Ten with 11.7 steals per game. Guard DeAndre Mathieu leads all Big Ten players with 41 steals (2.6 per game), while Carlos Morris (2.3) and Nate Mason (2.2) rank third and fourth, respectively

• Minnesota ranks third in the conference in scoring, averaging 79.9 points per game, and three-point shooting at 39.9 percent

Michigan 73 – Illinois 65 OT

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Dawkins vs Illinois(

On a celebratory afternoon for the Michigan football program, in which new head coach Jim Harbaugh was introduced at halftime, the basketball team pulled together an inspired performance to top Illinois 73-65 in overtime.

Fans who packed the Crisler Center to the rafters to catch a glimpse of Harbaugh didn’t have much to cheer for through the first 20 minutes as Michigan and Illinois went back and forth in an uneventful half.

Michigan jumped out to a 7-2 lead, but Illinois went on an 18-6 run over the next 12 minutes to grab a 20-13 lead. True freshman Aubrey Dawkins hit a three to end the drought, and back-to-back baskets by Max Bielfeldt and Ricky Doyle tied the game. But Illinois outscored Michigan 12-6 over the last four minutes of the half to take a 32-26 lead into the locker room.

Illinois guard Malcolm Hill kicked off the second half with a three and the Illini kept piling on, reaching a 13-point lead midway through the half. Dawkins nailed his second three of the game to stop the bleeding, and Zak Irvin followed with two straight threes to cut the deficit to six. After an Illinois dunk, Dawkins connected again, and after an Illinois free throw, another Dawkins three brought Michigan within three points.

Four Factors
Michigan Illinois
48.5 eFG% 46.6
27.5 OReb% 20.0
7.4 TO% 14.9
21.2 FTR 24.1

Michigan forced a turnover and LeVert scored to pull within one, but Hill answered with a bucket of his own. With less than three minutes to play, two straight Doyle baskets gave Michigan its first lead since the opening minutes. Hill answered with another jumper to put Illinois back on top, but Doyle responded with another layup to give Michigan a 58-57 lead with 1:13 remaining. Hill hit a pair of free throws to tip the scales back in Illinois’ favor, but Doyle made one of two free throws to tie the game at 59. A last-second Illinois attempt fell short, sending the game into overtime.

Hill stayed hot, scoring the first basket of the extra frame, but Dawkins made a pair of free throws to tie it and Irvin followed with a three. After a pair of Hill free throws, Dawkins nailed his sixth three of the game to put Michigan ahead by four and Michigan never looked back.

Dawkins, who had scored just 15 points all season coming into the game, led the way with 20 on 6-of-7 shooting from three-point range. LeVert followed with 19 points on 9-of-19 shooting, while Irvin and Doyle each finished with 13 points. Spike Albrecht led Michigan with six rebounds, while Irvin, Dawkins, and Mark Donnal added five apiece.

As a team, Michigan shot 40.9 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from downtown. But a hot second half and overtime, in which Michigan shot 47.1 percent overall and 44.4 percent from long range, propelled the Wolverines to victory. Michigan also out-rebounded Illinois 39-36 and committed just five turnovers compared to the Illini’s 12. Hill was the only Illinois player in double figures with 19 points, while Rayvonte Rice was held to eight on 3-of-11 shooting.

At 1-0 in the Big Ten and 8-5 overall, Michigan hits the road for two straight against Purdue (8-5, 0-0) on Saturday and Penn State (12-1, 0-0) on Tuesday.

Three Stars:

***Aubrey Dawkins***
20 points (career high, 6-of-8 FG, 6-of-7 3pt, 2-of-2 FT), five rebounds (two offensive), one turnover in 24 minutes

**Caris LeVert**
19 points (9-of-19 FG, 1-of-5 3pt, 0-of-2 FT), three rebounds (one offensive), five assists, two steals, one turnover in 42 minutes

*Zak Irvin*
13 points (4-of-15 FG, 3-of-10 3pt, 2-of-2 FT), five rebounds, one assist, one steal in 42 minutes

Final Game Stats
03 Kameron Chatman* 1-2 0-1 0-0 0 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 0 19
32 Ricky Doyle* 5-6 0-0 3-6 1 1 2 1 13 1 0 0 1 21
10 Derrick Walton Jr* 0-8 0-2 0-0 0 4 4 1 0 1 1 0 1 27
21 Zak Irvin* 4-15 3-10 2-2 0 5 5 2 13 1 0 0 1 42
23 Caris LeVert* 9-19 1-5 0-2 1 2 3 1 19 5 1 0 2 42
02 Spike Albrecht 1-3 0-1 2-2 0 6 6 0 4 5 0 0 2 25
12 M-A. Abdur-Rahkman 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
24 Aubrey Dawkins 6-8 6-7 2-2 2 3 5 3 20 0 1 0 0 24
34 Mark Donnal 0-3 0-2 0-0 2 3 5 2 0 1 1 0 0 21
44 Max Bielfeldt 1-2 0-0 0-0 2 2 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 3
Totals 27-66 10-28 9-14 11 28 39 12 73 15 5 1 7 205
Illinois 24-58 6-15 11-14 7 29 36 15 65 11 12 4 2 205
Full Stats

Michigan hoops preview: Syracuse

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Michigan (5-1) vs Syracuse (5-1)
Tuesday, Dec. 2 | Ann Arbor, Mich. | 7:30 p.m. EST | ESPN
ACC/Big Ten Challenge
76.0 Points/gm 70.2
(158-334) 47.3 Field Goal % 44.4 (159-358)
(53-119) 44.5 3-pt FG % 20.2 (18-89)
(87-113) 77.0 Free Throw % 66.9 (85-127)
14.5 FT Made/gm 14.2
34.2 Reb/gm 42.7
14.0 Assists/gm 15.0
9.2 Turnovers/gm 12.3
61.3 Points/gm 51.7
(138-325) 42.5 Field Goal % 34.1 (110-323)
(44-120) 36.7 3-pt FG % 26.8 (33-123)
30.3 Opp. Reb/gm 33.2
5.8 Steals/gm 9.8
2.5 Blocks/gm 6.3
Individual Leaders
Zak Irvin (17.7), Caris LeVert (17.5) Points/gm Rakeem Christmas (17.5), C. McCullough (15.3)
Caris LeVert (6.2), Derrick Walton Jr (5.4) Reb/gm Rakeem Christmas (9.5), C. McCullough (8.3)


Despite losing to 12th-ranked Villanova in the Legends Classic championship game last Tuesday, Michigan showed it can compete with the nation’s best. The Wolverines rebounded from that loss with a 91-62 win over Nicholls State on Saturday and now host Syracuse in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

The last time Michigan and Syracuse faced off a national championship game appearance was on the line. Michigan topped the Orange 61-56 in the 2013 Final Four to reach the title game. This time, the only thing on the line is a chance to pick up an early-season quality win that will pay dividends come tournament time. Michigan will get another chance for that when it travels to Arizona next week, but getting Syracuse at home on national television is a prime opportunity.

Syracuse comes in with an identical 5-1 record with wins over Kennesaw State (89-42), Hampton (65-47), Iowa (66-63), Loyola (70-37), and Holy Cross (72-48) and a loss to California (73-59). Like usual under head coach Jim Boeheim, Syracuse gets it done defensively, allowing an average of 51.7 points per game, which ranks ninth nationally. In addition, Syracuse is holding opponents to just 34.1 percent from the field (eighth nationally) and 26.8 percent from three-point range.

Three players average in double figures, led by 6’9″, 250-pound senior forward Rakeem Christmas, who averages 17.5 points. He also leads the team with 9.5 rebounds per game and 15 blocks. He has scored at least 15 points in five of six games this season. The only one he didn’t was the loss to Cal in which he was held to eight on 3-of-10 shooting. The last time out, he scored 25 against Holy Cross on 8-of-10 shooting and 9-of-10 free throw shooting.

Freshman forward Chris McCullough (6’10”, 220) is the second leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 15.3 points and 8.3 board per game. He scored a season high 20 points against Iowa and has two double-doubles in six games.

Redshirt junior guard Trevor Cooney (6’4″, 195) is the only other player in double figures, averaging 10.2 points per game, but he has struggled from three-point range, having made just 9-of-33. Freshman guard Kaleb Joseph (6’3″, 165) is the fourth player that has started all six games this season. He leads the team with 6.2 assists per game while scoring 8.5 points, but he has also turned the ball over 21 times. He has only attempted three three-pointers and missed all of them.

Sophomore forward Tyler Roberson (6’8″, 212) started the first four games and averaged 6.5 points and five rebounds, but missed the last two with a strained abdominal muscle. It is unclear whether he will be ready for tonight’s game. In his place has been 6’7″, 185-pound sophomore forward B.J. Johnson. He has averaged 7.8 points and 7.6 rebounds thanks in large part to a 19-point, eight-rebound performance in the season opener against Kennesaw State. However, he was held scoreless on 0-of-8 shooting in the loss to Cal.

Junior forward Michael Gbinije (6’7″, 200) is the first man off the bench, averaging six points and 3.4 rebounds per game. He ranks second on the team with 10 steals, but has made just 2-of-16 three-point attempts to start the season. Ron Patterson, a 6’2″, 200-pound sophomore guard, is the only other player averaging double-digit minutes per game (10.2), but he has very little production, averaging 1.2 points and 1.7 assists.

Syracuse is shooting just 20.2 percent from three-point range so far this season and averaging 5.8 fewer points than Michigan. But the Orange have a major advantage inside with a 8.5 rebounds per game edge. If Michigan can force Syracuse to settle for long shots and limit Syracuse’s second-chance opportunities, the Wolverines will have an excellent opportunity to pick up a win. But Michigan’s big men — Ricky Doyle, Mark Donnal, and Max Bielfeldt — will have to control Christmas and McCullough without getting into foul trouble, especially with D.J. Wilson out several weeks with an injury.

Derick’s 3 Thoughts: Bucknell

Monday, November 17th, 2014


Fans got their first look of the 2014-15 Michigan basketball team on Saturday afternoon, when the Wolverines discarded Hillsdale College 92-68. Now Bucknell comes to town after winning their opener in a much closer battle: 75-72 over Marist.

John Beilein’s teams haven’t always jumped out to fast starts. In 2013 Michigan was 6-4 and the season seemed to be spinning out of control before the Wolverines righted the ship and won the Big Ten by three games.

Game two comes to Crisler on Monday night as the Bison prepare to take on the offensively-charged Wolverines. Michigan will look to build off a strong finish against Hillsdale and avoid another slow start. Here are three thoughts to keep in mind while Michigan and Bucknell battle on the hardwood.

1. Don’t overlook the Bison

Michigan is one of the top contenders in the best conference in college basketball, so it should have no problem disposing of Bucknell in the Crisler Center. But the Wolverines can’t come into this matchup unprepared and disappear for stretches like they did against Division II Hillsdale.

Bucknell has won 20 or more games in three of their last four seasons and upset the Big Ten’s Penn State in Happy Valley last season. That win came in the second game of the year, when the teams were still working to find their identities. Michigan needs to come out of the tunnel strong and put the Bison away early.

Beilein won’t simply be able to put Caris LeVert on Bucknell’s top scorer to shut down the opposing offense Monday, as five players scored in double figures for the Bison in their opener against Marist. LeVert stifled Hillsdale’s Stedman Lowry after the freshman scored 11 of his team’s first 15 points in the opening five minutes.

Beilein’s young team will have plenty of chances to beat up on inferior competition, but it will want to bring it’s A game against the perennial Patriot League powerhouse Monday night.

Former Michigan graduate assistant Dave Paulsen returns to the Crisler Center as head coach of Bucknell

Former Michigan graduate assistant Dave Paulsen returns to the Crisler Center as Bucknell’s head coach (Getty Images)

2. Find a way to get the post involved

Michigan’s guards put on quite an offensive show in the opener, as Derrick Walton, Zak Irvin and LeVert each scored at least 20 points and combined for 63 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists. LeVert even made a bid for a triple-double, falling just two boards and a dime short on the night.

But as the nonconference schedule continues, Michigan should look to establish its trio of 6’9″ post players as stiffer competition looms. When the Big Ten season starts, the Wolverines will need contributions from the big men, even against elite post players like Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky, Purdue’s A.J. Hammons and Northwestern’s Alex Olah.

Yes, the offense will run through the talented guards all season, as it did through Trey Burke in 2012 and Nik Stauskas last season. But if Michigan can add an offensive presence in the paint, it will free up even more open shots for the sharpshooters.

Take a look at the performance of the big men on Saturday. Mark Donnal, Ricky Doyle and D.J. Wilson combined to shoot six for eight from the field, scoring 18 points. If that trio continues to score with such efficiency, Michigan should really use these early-season games to develop the three freshmen.

Donnal and Doyle spent most of their time in the paint, grabbing five rebounds in 35 combined minutes on the floor. If Michigan works those two into the offense, it will be much more difficult for opposing teams to cheat toward the countless three-point threats around the arc in Beilein’s sceme.

Wilson, on the other hand, is much more likely to factor into the offense with a bigger role. The versatile forward played just nine minutes against Hillsdale, but can score inside and out, even knocking in a couple of three-pointers from the corner against Wayne State in the team’s exhibition matchup.

If Michigan doesn’t get the post involved during the early games when Michigan clearly holds the upper hand, then it will never happen. Tonight is the first chance to really help the three forwards spark their offense at the college level.

3. Keep up that freshmen hustle

One of the most documented themes of this Michigan basketball season is the youth of Beilein’s roster. A roster that lacks any seniors (counting Max Bielfeldt as a redshirt junior) will definitely hit some speed bumps due to lack of experience. But the important thing is to make up for that hole with hustle plays.

Beilein played six freshmen Saturday that figure to take on significant roles this season in Kameron Chatman, Aubrey Dawkins, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, Wilson, Doyle and Donnal. Those players demonstrated their enthusiasm to be playing major college basketball against Hillsdale, stuffing the boxscore with what you might call “hustle stats.”

Perhaps the most important number from this group was eight: The total offensive rebounds the Wolverines pulled down in the opener. Donnal led the team with three offensive boards, Abdur-Rahkman added two and Wilson and Chatman each had one. The rest of the team failed to record an offensive rebound, but the hustle of those four players gave Michigan eight extra possessions for its deadly offense.

On the other side of the court, Donnal and Chatman led the charge on defense with a combined six steals. For a Wolverines defense that struggled to contain shooters, steals were the most effective way to stifle the Chargers’ offense. As coach Bacari Alexander said at halftime of the opener, the offense was sparked by these steals as the defense turned directly into points on the other end.

Chatman’s four steals were particularly impressive as he struggled on offense in his first college game, making one of seven field goal attempts and scoring just four points. Chatman showed great maturity, not letting his shooting woes stop him from making a major impact on the defensive end.

Inside the Numbers: Breaking down Michigan’s odds to win the Big Ten Tournament

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Beilein net(

Last week, Michigan clinched its first outright Big Ten regular season championship in 28 years, winning the league by three games. Accordingly, Michigan will raise a new banner in the rafters of the Crisler Center to open the 2014-15 season. With the Big Ten Tournament on deck, the Wolverines have an opportunity this weekend to add a second banner to that ceremony.

This year—and in recent years—fans have debated whether the Big Ten Tournament really matters in the grand scheme of college hoops. Many fans believe that the 18-game season, not a single-elimination tournament, crowns the true conference champion. Some of those fans even prefer that their team lose in earlier round in order to have extra days to prepare for the NCAA Tournament, unless their team is on the bubble. On the other hand, some fans feel that the Big Ten Tournament can significantly affect the seed a team earns in the NCAA Tournament, so all teams should take the conference tournament seriously.

But debating the merits of the Big Ten Tournament is not the purpose of this week’s “Inside the Numbers.” The purpose of this week’s column is to determine how likely it is that Michigan wins its first Big Ten Tournament since 1998. So put aside your feelings and opinions about the Big Ten Tournament as we explore these numbers.

Michigan’s Hellish History in the Big Ten Tournament

First, the bad news: the Big Ten Tournament has been a place of despair for the Wolverines. Michigan won the inaugural Big Ten Tournament in 1998 as a No. 4 seed, knocking off No. 3 seed Purdue, 76-67, in the championship game. Since then, though? Michigan has not sniffed a Big Ten Tournament championship.

History of Michigan’s Performances in the Big Ten Tournament

Lost in: 

First Round 





No. of Finishes






In the past 15 seasons, the Wolverines have not appeared in the finals of the Big Ten Tournament. Not once. Only two other Big Ten schools have had such a drought. One is Northwestern because, well, it is Northwestern. The other is Nebraska, but this is only the Huskers’ third years as a Big Ten member. Yes, even Penn State has participated in game with a Big Ten Tournament title on the line more recently than Michigan.

Since 1998, U-M has been bounced in the first round or quarterfinals 12 times. Therefore, the Wolverines have played in the semifinals only 20 percent of the time in that span. That is an abysmal rate for a program that needed to string together victories in the conference tournament to receive an NCAA Tournament invite from 1999 to 2008. Yet Michigan never could.

To make matters worse for Michigan fans, if that seems possible, the manner in which U-M has been eliminated from the conference tournament has been soul-crushing. Sure, there have been some top seeds against which the Wolverines never had a fighting chance. But Michigan has lost five conference tournament games by less than five points and has blown five halftime leads that resulted in losses. And, if there is one Big Ten Tournament image that stands out the most in U-M fans’ minds, it is former Ohio State star Evan Turner drilling a game-winning, half-court heave at the buzzer to end Michigan’s season in 2010.

Since 1998, the Big Ten Tournament has been nothing but nightmares for the Maize and Blue.

The No. 1 Seed

However, that may finally change this year. For the first time in school history, Michigan is the top seed in the Big Ten Tournament. The first Big Ten Tournament was in 1998. Since then, the Wolverines had won the regular season title only once before this season—in 2012. But Michigan shared that championship with Michigan State and Ohio State and lost the top seed to the Spartans on a tiebreaker.

This is unfamiliar territory for Michigan and its fans, so here is how the previous 16 top seeds have fared in the Big Ten Tournament:

Success of No. 1 Seeds in the Big Ten Tournament


Quarterfinals Loss

Semifinals Loss



No. of Finishes





The most likely outcome for the Big Ten Tournament’s top seed is to win the whole thing. Shocking, I know. The No. 1 seed has won the conference tournament just shy of half the time, with it happening at a rate of 43.8 percent. Making the finals is no guarantee, though. The top seed has appeared in the championship game in only nine of the 16 seasons in which the Big Ten Tournament was held. That is just 56.3 percent of the time.

However, those rates are skewed. In the first six years of the Big Ten Tournament, No. 1 seeds were more vulnerable to upsets than they seem to be now. Only one top seed participated in the title match in that span. Since 2003, though, the top seed has appeared in the finals eight out of 10 tries and won the tournament six times. The only two No. 1 seeds that failed to reach the finals are Michigan State in 2009 and Indiana last season, with both falling the semifinals. If the past decade’s trend holds, Michigan seems well on its way to play for and win its first Big Ten Tournament title in 16 years.

Before we hand the Wolverines their trophy and banner, though, let’s preview their path to the 2014 Big Ten Tournament championship.

Michigan could be looking at a rematch with Indiana in its first Big Ten Tournament on Friday (

Michigan could be looking at a rematch with Indiana in its first Big Ten Tournament on Friday (


As the No. 1 seed, Michigan receives a first-round bye and awaits the winner of Indiana-Illinois in the No. 8 vs. No. 9 matchup in the quarterfinals. This is a tossup. Not only did Indiana and Illinois split their season series, with the home team holding serve each time, the Hoosiers and Fighting Illini are No. 64 and No. 65 in Ken Pomeroy’s rankings, respectively. Indiana is a slight favorite, but Illinois is playing its best basketball right now, winning four of its last five against teams in the top seven of the standings.

Indiana has been a tricky matchup for the Wolverines recently. After sweeping U-M last year, an underachieving IU beat Michigan by double digits in Bloomington on Feb. 2 and hung with U-M until the final minute in Ann Arbor on Saturday. The main reason: Yogi Ferrell. The Wolverines have had no answer defensively for the member of the All-Big Ten second team. He has averaged 21.5 points and five assists while stroking 11-of-16 three-pointers (68.8%) against U-M. Plus, Michigan does not want a sea of red in the crowd at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis when it takes the floor for its quarterfinals game.

Thus, Michigan would prefer to see Illinois in the quarterfinals. The Wolverines have had the upper hand in this series recently, winning the previous six meetings by an average of 13.8 points. Of course, the average is skewed by a 31-point win by U-M, but that 31-point win occurred exactly one week ago. Will Michigan tie its program record once again with 16 three-pointers this time? Probably not. But the Fighting Illini have the second-worst offense in the Big Ten and no star that will help Illinois keep pace with U-M’s offense, which is the third-most efficient in the Big Ten since 2005.

Regardless, no top seed has lost in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament in over a decade. Additionally, Michigan will be a significant favorite to defeat either Indiana or Illinois. But those odds will be slightly better against the Fighting Illini than the Hoosiers.

Michigan’s Odds to Reach Semifinals per TeamRankings: 72.46%


If Michigan advances, it likely will face the winner of Nebraska-Ohio State in the No. 4 vs. No. 5 matchup in the semifinals. There is also a slim possibility that No. 12 Purdue could upset both the Buckeyes and the Huskers to reach the semifinals, but TeamRankings gives the Boilermakers just an 8.51 percent chance of doing so. If it does happen, Michigan will be in excellent shape. However, for the sake of this discussion, it is probably safe to assume that Purdue will experience a first-round exit.

Michigan only faced Ohio State once this season, but could face the Buckeyes for the seventh time in the BTT on Saturday (

Michigan only faced Ohio State once this season, but could face the Buckeyes for the seventh time in the BTT on Saturday (

Nebraska has been the Cinderella story in the Big Ten. Nebraska was projected to finish at the bottom of the Big Ten standings in the preseason. An 0-4 and 1-5 start, albeit against some of the Big Ten’s toughest teams, did not alter anyone’s expectation. Yet the Huskers beat Ohio State and Wisconsin at home and Michigan State on the road en route to winning 10 of their final 12 conference contests. Nebraska is on fire right now as it fights for its first NCAA Tournament bid since 1998.

Nonetheless, Nebraska is the team Michigan wants to see in the semifinals, not Ohio State. Nebraska finished with a better conference record than Ohio State because it had a more favorable strength of schedule and some better luck in close games. The advanced numbers tell a different story. OSU is No. 14 in Pomeroy’s rankings. Nebraska? No. 47. In the semifinals, Michigan would be a solid favorite against the Huskers whereas it would be close to a coin flip between the Wolverines and the Buckeyes.

Plus, if the Big Ten Tournament has been a place where Michigan teams go to die, Ohio State has been the Grim Reaper. Michigan and Ohio State have squared off six times in the Big Ten Tournament. The Wolverines have lost all six times, falling to OSU in 1999, 2002, 2007, 2010, 2011, and 2012. To be fair, the Buckeyes have been the higher seed in all but one of those contests (2012). However, there is no doubt that the Buckeyes have the Wolverines’ number in this tournament.

Michigan still has the best odds among Big Ten teams to reach the championship game. If there was ever a time to end this drought against the Buckeyes in the Big Ten Tournament, this year would probably be the year. But, if Michigan wants an easier path to the finals, it would prefer that the Huskers upset the Buckeyes in the quarterfinals.

Michigan’s Odds to Reach Finals per TeamRankings: 43.59%


If Michigan can get through its first two tournament games unscathed, it will appear in its first Big Ten Tournament finals since 1998, ending the 15-year streak of futility. If the Wolverines can accomplish this feat, which team will it face for a Big Ten Tournament title? According to TeamRankings, the three teams on the other side of the bracket with more than a 25 percent chance to appear in the title game are Wisconsin (35.7%), Michigan State (31.7%), and Iowa (26.2%).

Wisconsin would be the strongest challenger. Prior to losing to Nebraska at Pinnacle Bank Arena, a place where the Huskers went 15-1 this season, Wisconsin had won eight straight games. This includes wins at home against Michigan State and on the road against Michigan and Iowa. Additionally, no team has given Michigan more trouble under head coach John Beilein than the Badgers. Wisconsin is 12-2 against U-M since Beilein arrived in Ann Arbor. This is the opponent the Wolverines least want to face if they want to have the best odds to win the conference tournament. However, a win against the Badgers could be the final push that helps U-M earn the fourth No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

The Wolverines have better odds against Michigan State and Iowa, but beating either would be no easy task. Yes, both the Spartans and the Hawkeyes have stumbled down the stretch—MSU is 5-7 in its last 12 games and Iowa is 1-5 in its last six. But, if one of these teams reaches the finals, that team likely will have had to beat the other and then Wisconsin to be there. No team that does that is still in a slump, and Michigan would play that team just as it rediscovers its confidence.

So will Michigan win the Big Ten Tournament and earn a second banner in as many weeks? I cannot say. It likely will be a five-team brawl among Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan State, and Iowa. But what I can tell you is that Michigan is the favorite to win its first Big Ten Tournament since 1998 as it is the only team with greater than 20 percent odds to finish on top. And, given the success of the top seed in the past decade, Michigan may finally exorcise its Big Ten Tournament demons.

Michigan’s Odds to Win the Big Ten Tournament per TeamRankings: 21.81%

A fitting end: Michigan 84 – Indiana 80

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

Jordan Morgan - The Victors(

Last night was, without a doubt, Jordan Morgan’s to savor. The lone senior on one of the youngest, hottest teams in the country, was playing his final game in the Crisler Center wearing ‘MICHIGAN’ across his chest.

In his five years in Ann Arbor, Morgan has been a part of a lot of successful teams, but he’s never been a player that turns many heads on the floor. More people have used words like “leader” or “glue guy” to describe the engineer from Detroit than “star”, and many point to his off-the-court accolades before talking about how productive he was on it.

But for one last time, Morgan did his best to make sure that Michigan fans will remember him for what he did while wearing that jersey.

While the Indiana Hoosiers started off hot in the hopes of ruining Morgan’s Senior Night and being the only Big Ten team to not fall to Michigan this season, it was number 52 that kept the Maize and Blue in it. Morgan, who has attempted fewer shots per game than the prior season in each of his four years, made Michigan’s first three buckets of the game.

Indiana would make their first nine attempts and jump out to 10-point lead at one point in the first half, but Morgan simply would not let his team throw in the towel. Sure, the Wolverines had already secured an outright Big Ten title with a win earlier in the week at Illinois, but this game was more than just a win or loss. It was Morgan’s lasting legacy, the final page in his epic novel.

Morgan closed out his career in Crisler in style with 15 points and 10 rebounds (

Morgan closed out his career in Crisler in style with 15 points and 10 rebounds (

So Michigan fought back, rallying behind their captain to cut the lead to six at the half and then quickly charging out to a lead in the second half with the help of Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III, who combined to score 17 of Michigan’s 19 points in the first 5:20 after halftime as the Wolverines jumped ahead 55-50.

After falling behind by 11, Indiana would battle their way back to tie the game with 4:55 to go, but as opposed to last season’s finale when Morgan’s last-second tip rolled off the rim, fate seemed to be on the side of the home team.

Once the game was knotted up at 75 with 1:25 left following the Hoosiers’ 13-2 run, Robinson III caught a Stauskas pass and found himself wide open in the right corner. The sophomore, shooting just a touch better than 27 percent on the year, calmly rose and shot the ball without hesitation. This wasn’t the guy John Beilein would have drawn up to take that shot; after all, Robinson had missed nine of his last 11 threes.

But this one swished through to give Michigan a three-point lead they would not relinquish. A little over a minute later and the Wolverines’ 84-80 win was final, complete with maize and blue confetti and streamers falling from the heavens.

Morgan, who shed a few tears beforehand as he was honored for his contributions to the Michigan program in his seemingly endless five years, would finish his final game a winner and a star with 15 points on just eight shots, 10 rebounds (five of them offensive), two steals, and a block in 29 minutes.

When the Wolverines cut down the nets after the game to celebrate their first Big Ten outright championship in 28 seasons, Morgan was the first to climb the ladder, take a clip, and save one small physical treasure with which to remember his years in Ann Arbor.

What a program outsider may not have realized in watching last night’s game, however, was that Morgan will almost certainly not be the only one gone next year.

Stauskas, the favorite for Big Ten Player of the Year honors, is widely projected to be a first round pick in the NBA Draft later this spring after his breakout season and will likely follow his dreams and make the jump. If that is the case, his last game — 21 points, two rebounds, two assists, and a block — will also be one to cherish despite it seeming so routine at the moment.

Robinson III, who would have been a first-rounder if he had left after last year’s run to the National Championship game, is also thought to have one eye on his future in the NBA, and his 20 points, two rebounds, two assists, steal, and clutch three will not soon be forgotten.

After the game, however, there was no mention of those potential early departures, because, of course, there are more games — and very important ones at that — to play.

Morgan, who will play in his fourth NCAA Tournament later this month, knows this better than anyone else.

“We got more ahead of us, more goals to accomplish, and this is just like the beginning,” he said after the game. “I love playing with these guys, (they are) some of the best teammates, and it’s been an amazing year…so far, so far.”

Three Stars

***Nik Stauskas***
21 points (6-of-13 FG, 1-of-4 3PT, 8-of-9 FT), two assists, two rebounds, one block, one turnover in 35 minutes

**Jordan Morgan**
15 points (7-of-8 FG, 1-of-2 FT), 10 rebounds (five offensive), two steals, one block, two turnovers in 29 minutes

*Glenn Robinson III*
20 points (6-of-13 FG, 1-of-3PT, 2-of-2 FT), two rebounds (one offensive), two assists, one steal, one turnover in 37 minutes

Honorable Mention:
Will Sheehey – 17 points (7-of-12 FG, 2-of-5 3PT, 1-of-2 FT), three rebounds (one offensive), two assists, four turnovers in 34 minutes

Quick Hitters:

 With the win, Michigan has beaten every Big Ten team at least one time for the first time since 1992. At 15-3, the Wolverines also finish Big Ten play with their most conference wins since 1992.

 All of the talk before, during, and after the game has focused on the definite departure of Jordan Morgan and the likely departures of Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III, and rightfully so. But there could be even more adversity than that. Mitch McGary, who has not played since December, will certainly have a big decision to make on whether he returns to school or jumps to the NBA after turning it down as a potential lottery pick last year. At 21 years of age, McGary is old for his class and may be seen as having less “potential” by the NBA if he does return to school, but there is also uncertainty on where, or if, he would be selected because of his injury.

Head coach John Beilein has stated multiple times that he will end his career in Ann Arbor, but two of his assistants, Lavall Jordan and Bacari Alexander, are young up-and-comers and will certainly be getting some calls this upcoming offseason from schools looking for new coaches. Jordan has been masterful in developing guards like Darius Morris, Trey Burke, and Nik Stauskas and just missed out on being hired as the head man at Butler, his alma mater, last offseason.

Final Game Stats
01 Glenn Robinson III* 6-13 1-3 7-8 1 1 2 0 20 2 1 0 1 37
10 Derrick Walton Jr.* 1-4 0-2 2-2 0 0 0 3 4 4 0 0 1 25
11 Nik Stauskas* 6-13 1-4 8-9 0 2 2 1 21 2 1 1 0 35
52 Jordan Morgan* 7-8 0-0 1-2 5 5 10 3 15 0 2 1 2 29
23 Caris LeVert* 5-11 1-2 2-2 1 3 4 3 13 2 0 0 2 38
02 Spike Albrecht 0-2 0-1 4-4 0 0 0 3 4 3 0 0 0 15
15 Jon Horford 1-2 0-0 2-2 3 3 6 2 4 0 0 0 0 11
21 Zak Irvin 1-3 1-3 0-0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 1 1 10
Totals 27-56 4-15 26-29 11 14 25 16 84 13 6 3 7 200
Indiana 29-49 7-18 15-17 6 20 26 23 80 17 15 3 3 200
Full Stats

Derick’s 3 thoughts: Indiana

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

Michigan-Indiana header2

Michigan’s final regular season game comes against the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday at the Crisler Center. On paper this game means very little for the Wolverines, who clinched an outright Big Ten championship with a dominating win at Illinois on Tuesday. But finishing the season on a five-game winning streak would put Michigan in prime position to ride a hot streak into postseason play.

Indiana could have put itself in position to steal an NCAA Tournament bid with a winning streak to end the season, but Nebraska beat the Hoosiers in Assembly hall on Wednesday to virtually extinguish their chances to earn an at-large bid. Their only hope at this point is to win the Big Ten Tournament, and Tom Crean’s squad will look to get the momentum going today.

Here are three keys to consider during the final game of the regular season.

Put the Hoosiers in their place: Despite receiving a preseason top-25 ranking, Indiana played dreadful basketball during the majority of the Big Ten season. In fact, Indiana lost to all four of the worst teams in the conference, including an 82-64 waxing at Purdue on Feb. 15.

But on Feb. 2, when Michigan visited Assembly Hall, the Hoosiers put on a shooting clinic, shooting over 61 percent from three-point range. The 63-52 final gave Indiana its third win in a row over Michigan, which lost two close battles with the top-5 Hoosiers in early 2013.

Michigan surrendered a six-point lead with under a minute to play in a heartbreaking senior day-loss to Indiana last season, when a potential share of the Big Ten title slipped from the team’s grasp. This season, the Wolverines must make sure to write a different story.

Yogi Ferrell shot Michigan out of the gym in the last meeting. Can he do it again? (

Yogi Ferrell shot Michigan out of the gym in the last meeting. Can he do it again? (

The outright Big Ten champions boast a much more talented team than Indiana does this season, so Saturday offers the perfect chance to end this losing streak to Indiana. Michigan can put Indiana in its place on the final game of the regular season and avenge not only this season’s loss, but also the one that soured senior day for so many Wolverines in 2013.

Take the drive away from Yogi Ferrell: Michigan fans remember Yogi Ferrell for the unbelievable stroke he demonstrated in the first matchup February. The sophomore guard recorded his best shooting percentages of the season both overall (80 percent) and from beyond the arc (87.5 percent).

The numbers expose Ferrell’s impressive shooting against Michigan as an outlier. In the eight games since the unbelievable performance, the Hoosiers lost all three games in which their starting point guard shot double digit three pointers. Ferrell shot a total of 67 longballs in those games and connected on just 22 of them (32.8 percent).

Ferrell rarely stepped inside the three-point line against the Wolverines, but his real value does come inside the arc. He’s shooting a much higher percentage from short range in his past five games (50 percent), and when he gets to the free throw line he is one of the best shooters in the conference at over 81 percent.

Michigan allowed Ferrell and Iowa’s Roy Devyn Marble to catch fire from three-point range during its first two Big Ten losses, but that doesn’t mean that the Michigan guards should overcommit to Ferrell as a shooter on Saturday. As one of the lowest fouling teams in the country, Michigan neutralizes the youngster’s automatic stroke from the charity stripe. If he struggles to connect on his first few three point attempts, the Wolverine defenders can erase any memory of the 27 points he recorded back in February.

End the senior night woes: The Crisler Center has posed one of the most difficult places for opposing basketball teams to play during the past two seasons. In 2012, Michigan held a perfect home record going into the final game in Ann Arbor, only to fall to an unranked Purdue team during Zack Novak and Stu Douglas’s senior night celebrations.

Last season No. 2 Indiana provided a much more formidable test, but the results were the same as Michigan suffered its only home loss of the season on senior night. This season, Jordan Morgan hopes to reverse that unfortunate trend.

Morgan’s five-year journey as a Michigan Wolverine takes another step closer to the end as he plays his final home game on Saturday. His leadership and willingness to do whatever the team needs made him a strong leader for Beilein throughout the reconstruction of this basketball program.

Michigan lost two tough games in Ann Arbor over the course of the season, so the pressure to polish off a perfect home slate has long since evaporated. If the Wolverines play at a level anywhere near that of their conference-clinching demolition of Illinois Tuesday, senior night should take care of itself and Morgan will walk off the court with career win number 114.

Prediction:  Michigan 80 – Indiana 67