Michigan 80, Purdue 75

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Dustin Johnston

After a strong early start, Michigan looked nothing like a team that deserved to leave West Lafayette with a victory. For the third consecutive game, the Wolverines allowed a double digit lead to evaporate in a matter of minutes. Purdue turned an early 19-7 Michigan lead into a 52-40 deficit over the course of the game’s middle 20 minutes.

Michigan’s performance throughout the first 30 minutes was defined by poor transition defense and half court rotations, missed layups and to put things simply, a lack of intensity. But the Wolverines were able to lean on their player of the year down the stretch. With 11:06 to play, down 12 points, and with a share of the Big Ten Championship on the line, Trey Burke came alive.

Burke scored 21 points and handed out four assists in the final 11 minutes of play as Michigan survived with a 80-75 victory. For the second game in a row, he added the clinching steal for good measure.

Burke finished with 26 points and seven assists while Nik Stauskas (17  points) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (16 points) also reached double figures.  Full post game coverage to follow, post game discussion thread below.

  • PeteM

    I’ll take it, but this team makes me nervous. I feel like they could lose to anyone in the tournament. The defense was great against MSU, and looked solid for the first 5-10 minutes tonight but then feel apart.

    • Mith

      Agreed. I feel like we are on a collision course with a 2nd round tourney loss. (And by that I mean the Round of 32, which is the true 2nd round, not the first round which they call the second round these days.)

      • jemblue

        Given that we are probably going to play the first two rounds at the Palace, I feel pretty good. We’ll have a good crowd behind us.

        • David DeMember

          If we win out, we’ll be at the palace, otherwise, we may end up in San Jose in Gonzaga’s bracket as the “5th 1 seed”

          • Laura

            Our bracket doesn’t matter for first two rounds . We can be west and play at palace.

    • David DeMember

      I think we’ll be fine. It’s been a rollercoaster year, the type of season that prepares you for the up and down of a tourney run. The team is struggling with B1G defenses because they are so physical and the refs allow a lot of grabbing in league games. They’re better suited for high scoring games that are called tighter unlike IU which is mature and physical. Also, in B1G play, teams know each other so well. Michigan is tough to play against when you don’t know them and Beilein. As painful as that Ohio loss was last year, that team was a buzz saw and DJ Cooper only turned in one of the better college stat lines in college history. Playing non-conf teams will be a good thing this year since WE have the mismatches now.

      And most importantly, experienced guards combos make final four runs, we have 2 of the best.

    • ChathaM

      I know what you’re saying, but the fact is that any team can lose to any team after the first round of the tourney. There is so much parity at the top of the college game right now that a long tourney run is a bonus. It can’t be expected, and your season isn’t a failure if it doesn’t happen.

  • A2JD

    Mitch needs to put his rebounding hands on this Sunday. Zero? He’s better than that.

    • Go blue 22

      Amen to that I totally agree if not zeller will have a field day

  • PeteM

    I know we want to assume a win Sunday, but am I correct that we want Wisconsin to lose to MSU since they have a tie-breaker on us?

    • http://twitter.com/DaddyLipton Marc Lipton

      Win, we get a bye and a tie. Lose and it doesn’t matter. Can’t get the one seed, however, no matter who wins the UW-MSU game

    • David DeMember

      If we win, we’ll be tied with IU and any other team with the same record. It would be a multi-team tie like last year… Deja Vu all over again.

    • rlcBlue

      The only two scenarios where we win the championship but get the #4 seed in the BTT are those where we are quad-champs with Wisconsin, so we might want to root for State –

      Except I would rather have us face Wisconsin in the 2 vs 3 semifinal over any other matchup, and that scenario doesn’t happen unless Bucky beats Sparty, so maybe we should just root for 5 OTs and be happy with whatever happens…

  • jemblue

    A win is a win. Now let’s get some more of that Crisler magic for Sunday and add to the trophy case.

  • BobOhle1

    Staukas was on Byrd most of the night. Byrd had 3 points

    • mstein23

      Yup, and scored 17 points, with some clutch shots and free throws during the late run. Credit where credit is due for the young man. Showed up tonight.

    • JDoesel

      His best game I think. First time he really did it from both ends. The fact that he was creating shots in the second half was key.

  • Angman

    Things were looking bleak there for a bit, as we couldn’t keep Johnson in front of us, everything Purdue threw off balance seemed to drop and rebounding was an issue. But full marks for the battle to comeback. Trey willed them through the tough stretch in the second half, but there some big contributions by everyone there to gut this one out.

    Find a way to win Sunday, and it’s another banner in Crisler. Get it done Blue!

  • mstein23

    That was one of the craziest UM games I can remember. Came out strong for 10 minutes, fell apart for 20, then an unbelievable 10 minute rally to pull out a huge win. On the positive, Trey took over the game when it counted, Nik had his best overall game (17 points and solid defense) since early in the season, Tim found some rhythm on offense, and we were able to rally from such a horrid stretch to pull out the win. You may say UM didn’t deserve to win, but I say they did deserve it because PU didn’t hand the game over. UM got serious and took it.
    While I’m just as concerned as everyone as to how we looked so bad for that 20 minute stretch, the fact of the matter is that this team is 25-5, tied for second in the B1G with a home game (33-1 over the last 2 years) to play for a shot at back to back B1G titles (not done since the days of Grant, Tarpley, etc., i.e. a generation ago). Smile Wolverine nation and don’t forget to enjoy the journey.

  • gpsimms

    I guess one good thing about the terrible defense was it was not the usual problem. It wasn’t people getting lost on switches, not recovering/helping on the hedge. It was simply no one could stay in front of Terone Johnson.

    It kind of felt like we switched a lot less than we usually do, but maybe Purdue screened less(?) Maybe they screened less because they didn’t need to with Johnson smoking everyone off the dribble.

    Great game for Stauskas, did well on Byrd. He did look silly whenever he got switched onto Terone, but everyone did, so I guess that wasn’t a big deal.

    I felt like 100% of Purdue’s getting a run started in the first half after being down 12 was on Timmy. He took terrible shots that led to long rebounds and transition opportunities, and that really got them going. A lot of the bad D was on Timmy, it seemed like.

  • Mattski

    33-1 over two years at Crisler; not bad–25-5 overall. Still, there were people calling for Beilein’s head on mgoblog tonight. . .

    • Mattski

      I guess last year Michigan won 24?

  • Matzio

    I think that elbow to the head woke Stauskas up.

    • mstein23

      I think Caris LaVert getting 30 minutes of playing time vs. MSU did more.

      • Champswest

        Not. Nik was unable to play due to injury.

        • mstein23

          I know that. Watched the game. But Caris played very well filling in for Nik, especially on D where Nik has had his difficulties. If you don’t think there was some sort of incentive on Nik’s part to not be “Wally Pipp’ed” then I guess we’ll agree to disagree.

  • rlcBlue

    Tonight’s BTT seeding update – KenPom probabilities!

    The 8 most likely of the remaining 32 scenarios:

    Prob Tie Seeding
    25% – IU,OSU,MSU,UW,UM
    19% 4 IU,OSU,UM,MSU,UW
    16% – IU,UW,OSU,MSU,UM
    12% 4 UW,OSU,IU,UM,MSU
    5% – IU,MSU,UW,OSU,UM
    4% 3 IU,UM,MSU,UW,OSU
    3% – IU,UW,ISU,MSU,UM
    2% – IU,OSU,MSU,UW,UM

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