Late collapse spoils Michigan’s chance at title
by Mark Snyder, USA TODAY Sports
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — There was no Crisler magic this time.
After two years of pulling out nail-biters at home, in the moment it mattered most, with a Big Ten title on the line, the Wolverines couldn’t finish.
Holding a five-point lead with less than 50 seconds remaining, No. 7 Michigan blew the game at both ends, falling to No. 2 Indiana, 72-71, at Crisler Center on Sunday.
On offense, it was Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. missing the front end of one-and-one free throws. On defense, U-M allowed Indiana’s Cody Zeller to get two baskets and two free throws to give the Hoosiers a one-point lead with 10 seconds left.
Then Burke’s lay-up rolled off the rim, Jordan Morgan missed the follow, and the game was over.
“We had a really good look by Trey, a Jordan tip-in, and I thought for sure that baby was going in, and it would have been great but it didn’t work out,” U-M coach John Beilein said. “They get the win — and the championship.”
The one-point win allowed the Hoosiers (26-5, 14-4 Big Ten) to capture the Big Ten title outright, leaving Michigan — plus Michigan State and Ohio State, who needed the Wolverines’ help — on the outside.
For U-M, there was immediate pain: A share of the Big Ten title was lost, a first-round Big Ten tournament bye was lost, and a leap in NCAA tournament seeding vanished. The perfect home record (ending 17-1) disappeared in the final home game for the second straight year, and U-M could only imagine the ifs.
It’s a lingering pain of a final play where everything is there, but the roll makes all the difference.
“I felt like the lay-up was going to go in,” Burke said. “Jordan Morgan had a good shot at it, too, and missed it. I just feel like we were unlucky today.”
Unless this becomes a rallying moment for a Big Ten tournament run — No. 5 seed U-M will open Thursday around 2:30 p.m. against No. 12 seed Penn State — or an NCAA burst with U-M now looking at a No. 3 seed as long … [For more on Late collapse spoils Michigan's chance at Big Ten title, click here.]