Michigan State 57, Michigan 56

Dylan Burkhardt

I honestly can’t bring myself to say much of anything right now. In many ways this game was a microcosm of this season. Here’s the final 30 seconds of play, if you enjoy pain:

And if you were curious about Kalin’s elbow in the first half, you can compare this to this. I wasn’t for Harris getting ejected but isn’t there something to be said for consistency? They are almost identical plays.

Finally, give #1 in green some credit, Kalin Lucas is flat out clutch. There was no doubt that he was going to make that final shot.

Post game tomorrow morning. Here’s the screenshot of the foul, or lack thereof, on the final play that’s been floating around.

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  • Chris

    Kudos to the Spartans. They know how to finish games and Michigan doesn’t. The last series at the end of the game went exactly like I told my grandpa. After Sims missed that 3 and MSU got the ball. I told him MSU will get a basket with very little time remaining and Michigan will miss the last shot. That is the way it will always happen until Michigan gets better athletes and more size, until than they will lose to MSU no matter how gutty of a performance they put out, because talent and ability will always beat out guts in the end.

  • Erik

    Seems like UofM is almost just snakebitten. MSU played better and deserved to win, but UofM just can never get over the hump. Going back to the Jamal Crawford suspension right before the MSU game which ended his career early. Then there was the recruiting whiffs on Hairston, Crawford, Reynolds, Delvon Roe, Jason Richardson…so many others. Any one of those guys could have single handedly put them over the hump.

    I think UofM is just bound to be mediocre for a long time because they cannot be consistent. I don’t see any of Beileins types of guys coming in next year either so I think we are looking at at least 2 more years of up and down gameplay. So frustrating after last year I thought we were on to something.

    I still believe in Beilein, I just think we are catching all the bad breaks from recruiting to shooting to turnovers…things just don’t go our way.

  • Jimmy

    Do the two “foul calls” in the last 3.5 seconds that went State’s way count triple in MSU’s luck rating you talked about the other day?

  • JB

    what are the chances of lucas going pro? he doesn’t strike me as good enough, but i don’t follow draft talk at all

  • Austin

    Was it a foul? Yes. Does it ever get called? No. Crushing loss, no doubt, but M can only blame themselves. Game was prime for the taking. Great D, just couldn’t get the offense to flow. I don’t know how to feel right now. It’s just been a tough couple of years to be a Michigan fan.

  • Tweeter

    ahh, didnt see the new post. Same postgame comments from the preview . . .

    Not going to bash the officials for missing that call at the end. For one, there were only two of them left, but also, its tough to make that kind of call on the last play of a game. I thought as a whole the officiating was pretty awful all game, but it was equally awful to both teams.

    This game was all about us making open shots. I was shocked at how many open looks State gave us. I really thought that after seeing Purdue take us out of any offense with their pressure D, State would try and replicate that. Instead it looked like they went with the Wisky option of sagging off perimeter players and taking away Sims inside and penetration off the dribble. These guys just have to make more shots than that. Even if we shot our average percentage we win.

    The other thing that bothered me in this game was the number of times that guys penetrated and passed up shots in the lane for open jumpers. Some of them would have been difficult, but other times it looked like we had layups and instead kicked it out. Even Manny passed up a shot in the paint. Dont know if guys confidence was shaken by the poor layup shooting at Wisky or what, but you gotta take some of those. The big one was our second to last possession when it looked like Douglass had a great look and instead kicked it out to Peedi.

    As bad as this team has been at times this year, its amazing how close they have been to having a great season. If they could just close out games.

  • Laura

    Proud of them for keeping it close but man does this suck. It’s frustrating because at times State seems so beatable but they always pull it out. They have close came experience and we just don’t have it yet. We scored 23 points off their turnovers which is a positive and we fought hard. Just wish we could have pulled this win out right now it really hurts.

  • Laura

    Also as Tweeter said think of how different this season would be if we had 2 or 3 more shots mainly three pointers go in…completely different. But we haven’t had those shots that we got in games last year. Will be sad to see Peedi leave but hopefully next year will be better and maybe we can get some more good wins this year.

  • Jimmy

    I agree. Good effort but it’s definitely a tough one to swallow. I’m a junior and I’ve only seen 1 winning season in football and 1 tournament bid in basketball.

    “Those who stay will be champions” couldn’t apply more for current students like myself.

  • AG2

    All they needed was for one of those last two shots to hit rim. That would have at least given them a chance for a rebound.

    Only a win at the Breslin Center would make up for this.

  • Tweeter

    Just thinking back to last year, I think at this time last year that team played seven games or so where they had no chance in the last five minutes of the game. This year there have only been four games where you could say the same thing. So in at least one way you could say that this team has been far more competitive than last years team, while achieving worse results.

  • Drew

    I would have much rather seen a 10 or 12 point loss than that. I don’t know if a lot of people will agree with me on that. I can’t handle the whole getting your heart ripped out of you thing, especially against THAT team.

    The worst part is, we were winning with 30 seconds left and I just knew it was going to end like that. That’s what it’s been like for a long time being a fan of Michigan basketball. While every State fan was thinking win, I was trying to figure out how I was going to handle another loss.

  • Laura

    I said the same thing about losing by more. But in just hurts more to lose by one, but I am glad that we gave them everything. We didn’t even play our best game and it was so close…

  • Brad

    pretty upset about the lack of consistency with regard to elbowgate…if one star player gets ejected in a pretty important game, while another does not even after it is reviewed really calls the integrity of collegiate basketball officials into question…that was the EXACT same move Manny made…

  • KevinTh

    Just a devasting loss. I have never seen such a poor shooting team. Why do we shoot so many 3’s?

  • michigan4204

    Man this one really hurts. As disappointed as I am with the outcome, I am still optimistic about this teams future. Last year we had 14 losses, granted we had 2 big wins. I know you all will disagree, but I still think this team is improving, and I think they have a run in them. I really disagree with most people’s outlook on next year. Having seen Manny at Lebron’s camp last year, and also hearing some opinions on where he would go in the draft, I truly believe he will be back next year. The main reason someone would leave early is, 1) they are a guaranteed first round pick, or 2) they have peaked talent wise and have no chance of potentially going higher. Manny still has some key areas he can improve. He has lottery pick potential, if he can become a more consistant player, inside and out. Let me also say, Sims is an NBA talent. He will go late second round and will make an NBA roster. However, I think the 2 redshirt freshman, along with the incoming big men, can make up for Sims production. Having a true PF will also allow Novak to play his natural position, and allow him to use more energy on offense. Morris will only improve, and if he can get a jumper, he could be special. I also think Hardaway will come in and start by the end of next year. Saw him at a couple AAU tournaments , and he can flat out score. Not the most athletic but a very smart player and he can create his own shot. I do not see this team taking a step back, and if Manny stays, I see them being being somewhere close to where we hoped they’d be this year. I know you all think differently, but that just my outlook on thing. Go Blue!!

  • Sam

    This offense is a Joke. Any team that lives or dies by the three inevitably ends up dying. The turnovers are great, but that stat just shows that even with all of that they couldn’t beat a team that played poorly.

    As far as the elbow goes, Manny shouldn’t have been ejected, it definitely wasn’t flagrant, just kind of gruesome. But to blame the officiating for continuity between two different games is a reach. I’m glad they didn’t eject Lucas, because then a victory would have been with everyone saying “Kalin was gone.”

    Just have to get better.

  • Andy

    Two main things, one minor one.

    1. Re: Elbows. Two wrongs don’t make a right. UM got screwed on the Manny / Kramer issue last year. It was the wrong call to throw Manny out then, it would have been wrong to throw Lucas out tonight. Although, I think a flagrant foul call w/out ejection was warranted.

    2. Douglass and Novak absolutely have to develop a mid range jumper. They both did a great job of pump faking when MSU flew out on the shooters, but once they were by the MSU players, they continued to take it all the way to the hole where they are athletically disadvantaged. I’d love to see a pump fake, one strong dribble, pull up jumper. Basketball is evolving into a game where the only two shots that you can take are threes and layups / dunks. There’s so much space in between that can be taken advantage of.

    3. Novak seems to be shooting his threes way too hard. I watched him during the second half warmups and he just is whizzing the ball at the hoop and I don’t think he did that last year. He needs to think soft when he shoots, in my opinion.

  • AG2

    I also can’t help but wonder: What does McLimans have to offer? He’s probably slow and unathletic and has a questionable shot but so does vogrich and he’s smaller. So why one redshirts and the other doesn’?

  • Erik

    Andy I noticed the same thing about Novak. Also, I couldn’t tell about the spin on the ball, but I’m wondering if he’s getting some side spin on it. Against Purdue and Wisconsin he had a few shots rim out sideways. usually that occurs with some side spin. It’s one thing to hit back iron and bounce out. It’s another to have side spin which indicates you aren’t even releasing properly.

    I agree about the mid range game too. I was pulling my hair out tonight when Stu would pump fake, then drive around and pick up his dribble or kick it out. SO frustrating that he would get into the open and not convert.

    Regarding elbowgate…Either they throw everyone out and the offenders will stop ripping high, or they call it a standard foul and the defenders will stop playing so close. But there needs to be consistency. I wish the officials would make a specific rule clarification about “ripping high” and make it standard (except for cases like Novak where it was clearly intentional)

  • fresh

    douglass and novak absolutely need a midrange game they are open and in the lane or the surrounding area all the time and never look to shoot and do anything but immediately pass in those situations ……….you have to look to score then pass in many cases not the other way around

  • JJ

    ICK!!! I’m never going to get to sleep tonight after that one.

  • michigan hoops 4eva

    I agree with most of what’s being said, the sad thing about a close loss is that if Deshawn Sims had made that shot, no one would be riding the team like this.

    That being said, I definitely noticed some glaring weaknesses.
    1) Not starting Manny- come on Beilein, you already got your message across.
    2) 3 point shooting- Douglass and Novak have got to step their game up. Shooting 7-29 from 3 point range is unnacceptable for a Beilein team, and the change needs to start with our supposed shooters. Also I thought good shots were passed up for contested, low percentage 3’s.
    3) Bench play- When Anthony Wright and Zach Gibson entered the game at the same time for Manny and Sims, I said to my friends, “There goes our lead.” Sure enough, we lost our lead and eventually the game. It’s ridiculous that Michigan doesn’t have anyone dependable to turn to off the bench (except Darius Morris). Corey Person looks good, give him a try.
    4) Stu Douglass- has not improved very much this year, his shot has been off for 90% of the year, and he’s begun to give the ball up more. This guy needs to learn how to pass two-handed and do something besides jacking up ill-fated 3’s. Case in point: Stu drove in the lane and had an open layup but instead passed to Darius Morris for 3. Stu needs to become more versatile if he wants to continue to be a starter.
    5) Bad luck- Sims’ shot didn’t go in. Lucas’ did. Bottom line.

  • KDavis

    I just made my night worse by checking on another guy…forget about the 14ppg, 10rpg, and 4bpg…Ekpe Udoh is shooting 36% from 3 this season. Ugh.


    Gross. I mean…whatever.

  • Erik

    I agree the Manny benching was odd. Really the only time I’ve questioned Beilein. I don’t understand it. If he was trying to punish Manny, it was dumb. if he thought it would get the crowd fired up, it was dumb. They were playing their intrastate rival with the last shred of hope for the post season on the line. You have to play your best five as much as you can if you want to win. I thought it was highly questionable too.

  • DaveR

    Overall, Michigan played a good game but choked at the end. Two airballs on their last two possessions?? Ridiculous. Their lack of size handicapped them again – MSU seemed to have a big edge in the paint. It’s hard to overcome this handicap without decent three point shooting. A huge advantage in turnovers couldn’t even save them. They may still be able to make a run at the tournament but probably have to win 8 of 10 (or win the Big Ten tourney) to barely slip in.

  • Mith

    I wish people would lay off Beilein. If he thought it was necessary to bench Manny for the first three minutes, then so be it. It hardly lost the game for them.

    The story of the season is the shooting. They are one of the worst 3-point shooting teams and that kills them almost every game. I’m sure Beilein is frustrated- guys like Novak, Douglass and Vogrich are here to shoot 3’s and they can’t get the job done.

  • I wouldn’t say M choked when two no-calls might have sealed the game the other way. And I don’t always get why people take the status quo for the correct approach, as Lavin did. Would it not be exciting as HELL to put Peedi (or a hypothetical ANYONE) at the line to tie or win with zero on the clock? Short answer: yes. And if it’s deserved. . ?

    I too had the thought several times last night that M really needs a few people with dependable mid-range shots. We would be taking fewer OF them, I assume, in B-line’s offense, but. . .

  • eddie

    Was anyone surprised that when UM came back after the two timeouts in the last thirty seconds in a 1-3-1 defense? i realize the zone had been effective for the most part in creating havoc, but it naturally has some gaps, one of which Lucas found with 1.5 seconds left. Having played so well defensively in man defense, this was a surprising call by Beilein…not just after the first timeout, but the second as well.

  • Andy

    In a bit of further defense of Stu (seems like I’m always doing this), as far as I can tell, he is the only one on this team playing two positions. On top of that, he does it on defense too when they go to the 1-3-1. Depending on who’s in, he is either at the top of the bottom of the 1-3-1. Morris is always a 1, LLP is always a 2, Manny is always a 3, Novak is always a 4, Sims is always a 5 and no one else plays significantly enough to matter. Stu has to go between the 1 and 2 and change it up a lot on defense. He’s a D1 college player, so it’s not an excuse, he should be able to handle it, but I don’t think it should be all that surprising that he is somewhat out of sorts this year. He is only a sophomore (and an underrecruited “project” type).

  • JimC

    Interesting video of Lucas’ rip through. From the stands of course you couldn’t see any of that.

    This is NOT an NCAA tournament team so why that even comes up is a mystery. A better question for fans is, do you want to see this team in the NIT?

  • maxwell’s demon

    eddie – I think coming out in the 1-3-1 was very unexpected and I liked the call. But then we fouled Lucas and they had a chance to recover. Maybe at that point we should have gone back to man.

  • Deacon Blues

    What a year.

    To me, the one thing you can fairly blame Beilein for is the non-conference schedule. It’s not the Utah and KU trips (or challenging games in general) that I have a problem with; it’s the Orlando/BC stretch, which was four games in seven days against decent competition. For this team, there was ample reason to believe that playing four in seven was a bad idea, based on how U-M played on short rest last season. (The Wisconsin home loss, the @Ill/OSU/@PSU stretch, the Illinois BTT loss, etc.)

    Of course, with all the holes this team has, we probably would’ve been exposed eventually anyway. But the Orlando/BC span ruined U-M’s record and may have affected its confidence, and that might’ve been avoidable.

  • Jeff

    The hypocrisy of the elbow situation bothers me. I don’t think Lucas should have been ejected or suspended, as I didn’t think Harris should have been last year. What really annoyed me last year was seeing Digger Phelps and Jay Bilas verbally assassinate Harris. Phelps said he should have been suspended multiple games and Bilas harped on it for weeks, repeatedly saying Harris elbowed Kramer “with a purpose”. Now ESPN doesn’t even show the play in their highlights. I bet we won’t hear a peep out of Bilas about this. I think Harris was basically punished for the positioning of Kramer’s head, the same thing could have happened to LLP if his head was turned a little.

  • Jeff

    As for the game, this team has basically mastered the art of the crushing loss. They started by blowing a 17-pt first half lead vs. NW, elevated it to blowing a 9-pt lead with 9 minutes left at WISC, and have graduated to blowing a lead with 3.5 seconds left and missing the game winner by inches. The only thing left is to lose a game on a buzzer-beating 3/4 court shot. This team has been very hard on it’s fanbase this year.

  • Jeff

    Beacon, I absolutely agree with you about the Orlando trip. I think that was a big gaff in scheduling that started this snowball rolling.

  • ToBlav

    This team is vastly improved, last year this game was dominated by State.
    Novak and Douglas are improving, broadening their game, and the next step as pointed out above is the mid-range game.
    Most of the shooters need to slow down about 1/10 second and get more arch (higher release point and direction).
    Rules are rules and the fouls, including intentional ones, should be called without reguard to game situation.
    Coach Beilein is amazing. There is isn’t one of critics who could have taken the depleted team he was given and have them make the strides this program has.

  • TrueBlue

    I’m a true Blue fan, and last night sucked. But seriously, how has Coach Beilein done any better than Coach Amaker did?

  • TrueBlue: It starts with a trip to Kansas City where we made our first NCAA tournament in 10 years.

  • mike

    you guys are crazy if your not getting pissed over the that clear cut foul of holding onto sims jersey for the lob.

  • Objective Spartan

    Mike — There’s just no point in getting angry over that or any other so-called “clear cut foul” in this game. Yes, Durrell Summers got a piece of #34’s jersey. There were two refs calling the game instead of the usual three, and they just won’t be in position to see (or make) every call.

    Just as an example, look at the Youtube clip above and watch #34 shove Lucas in the back at around 0:11 (0:09.8 on the game clock), and tell me that also wasn’t a “clear cut” foul. It’s not a conspiracy, and it’s not anti-Michigan bias. That officiating crew was at a serious disadvantage, and there were plenty of non-calls and missed calls to go around.

    If you must focus your negative energies on something, you can hate on MSU and our stupid logo or because we took over the upper bowl in Crisler. You can hate on Kalin Lucas for being so clutch. You could hate on Raymar Morgan for dominating the paint. You could hate on #1 for passing up a layup to kick it out to #34 for an airball in the final minute.

    The point is, if there’s something to be pissed about, it should be missed shots and wasted opportunities, not the officiating.

    (By the way, I happen to think that the NCAA needs to start using four-man ref crews – due to the speed of the game and the quickness of today’s players. The refs are out of position too often because they can’t keep up with how quick the game has become.)

  • TrueBlue

    Dylan, the numbers speak for themselves. Amaker’s record at U-M was 109-83, including 22-13 during his last year here. Amaker was fired. Beilein so far has a losing record, is 10-10 this year, and received a multi-million dollar contract extension through 2015-16. WTF? We fans deserve an explanation!

  • True: I just gave you the explanation. We made the NCAA tournament. Were you around last year? That was huge.

  • TrueBlue

    Oh yeah, I was around. Isn’t it sad that our program has come to this? Being proud that we made it to the NCAA tournament once in 11 years??? Too bad Beilein won’t be taking us there 2 years in a row.

  • michigan fan

    yes, I think Beilein did earn an extension after taking Michigan to the NCAA Tournament. Did the extension have to be so many years?

  • jmblue

    TrueBlue, Amaker did nothing but fatten his record on nonconference creampuffs. His record against major-conference competition stunk, which is why none of his teams ever made the tournament.

  • Sarah

    About to say the same thing about Amaker his last year our record was decent but we didn’t win any games against really good competition. Objective Spartan yes I agree with you that there were plenty of wasted opportunities for Michigan, however don’t act like if it had been the other way around you wouldn’t complain about the call at all. No the game didn’t come down to that and had there been 3 officials the call might have been made we don’t know. I think Michigan had a decent game plan, we know we aren’t going to beat teams on the inside but we capitalized on most of your 17? turnovers. Bottom line your team has close game experience and our team doesn’t really have it yet. And Morgan had a lot of points in the first half I think 13 and he finished with 18 so we did adjust. And we kept some of your other scoring threats in check for most of the game.

  • Sarah

    And I don’t think State completely took over the upper bowl was anyone there in 1999 or 2000? That was complete take over. I wish Michigan fans would come out and support their team. But overall the Spartans were not bad. The game being as close as it was obviously helped.