Final Horn: Michigan 72, Indiana 69

Zach Shaw
on

INDIANAPOLIS — Less than 24 hours after a wild overtime over Northwestern to keep its season alive, the Michigan basketball team found itself in a thriller yet again. This time, the Wolverines faced an even tougher task, taking on No. 10 ranked Indiana — the tournament’s top seed.

But Michigan was just fine with that.

The Wolverines (10-8 Big Ten, 22-11 overall) put together one of their best efforts of the season, and stole a win in the Hoosiers’ backyard. In front of a near-capacity crowd that was vastly comprised of Indiana fans, sophomore forward Kam Chatman hit a game-winning 3 with 0.2 seconds left that gave Michigan a 72-69 win to bolster its NCAA Tournament resume.

The end was fitting for what was a wild and entertaining game. Here are our immediate reactions from the contest.

MVP: Zak Irvin. Playing just a short drive from his hometown in Fishers, Indiana, the junior forward led the game with 17 points while also chipping in five rebounds. After tallying 19 points the day before, Irvin looked poised and controlled throughout Friday’s affair, stopping runs, working in transition, and finding buckets when other Michigan players couldn’t. Going 6 for 6 at the line helped, too.

It was over when… With 1:01 to go, the Wolverines found themselves down only 68-66. But when Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman fouled out, it appeared to be a crushing blow to Michigan. Instead, Abdur-Rahkman’s replacement, Chatman, proved to be the hero of the game, knocking down a corner 3-pointer with virtually no time left on the clock.

Key Stat: It’s no secret that Indiana’s offense is one of the best in the country. It’s also no secret that the Hoosiers play with fast tempo, and Michigan was able to use that to its advantage Friday. The Wolverines kept themselves in the game throughout thanks to 14 turnovers and 19 points off turnovers. Indiana’s turnover rate of 23.4 was its worst since Jan. 26.

Unsung hero: Derrick Walton Jr. . After scoring just three points in Thursday’s win over Northwestern, the junior guard was quiet offensively yet again, only attempting one shot in the game and not scoring any points. He did, however, tally a Big Ten Tournament record 12 assists, including his last one to Chatman for the game-winner.

Runner-up: Moritz Wagner, who scored more points Friday (nine) than he had in Michigan’s previous 14 games combined. Wagner provided a jolt of energy and emotion as he provided critical minutes off the bench.

Room for improvement: Throughout Big Ten play, the Wolverines had developed into one of the Big Ten’s best defensive rebounding teams, and finished the season 27th in the nation with a defensive rebound rate of 74.3 percent. But that was hard to believe Friday, as Indiana rebounded 48% of its misses in the loss.

iu btt
  • DetroitDan

    Great team effort!

  • Chillax

    that’s a shot you’ll remember your whole life

    • A2MIKE

      it’s funny how much this tournament reminds me of the 2010 tournament. Last time 2 double digit seeds made the Quarterfinals was 2010. Irvin hit that shot yesterday to win from almost the exact same spot as Manny Harris in 2010 vs OSU. And then all the times we have been an 8/9 playing a 1 the only real chance at an upset was in 2010 vs OSU until today.

      • bobohle

        Great memory. Thanks for reminding me.

  • Tony DeMaria

    OK question….do we want Purdue tomorrow or Illinois. Obviously the first thought is Purdue. Another shot at a top 25 win, no chance at a bad loss. But then I wonder, the committee surprises sometimes, and I’ve heard more than one “expert” say a win over IU is not enough for UM (although to be fair most have said that it would be enough).

    On the other hand, I feel like even though Illinois would not be a good win at all, and if anything hurt our RPI, I also feel like it would be hard to keep Michigan out of the tourney if it a) Had 22 D1 wins, b) finished 10-8 in conference and c) made it to the Big Ten Championship game. If that’s the case, beating Illinois would be easier than beating Purdue. Of course the giant risk is that a loss would reverse all the goodwill from today’s win.

    I’m still siding with wanting to play Purdue tomorrow, but Illinois wouldn’t be as bad as I first thought. Plus I’d like to get some revenge for basically ending Caris’ UM career.

    • A2MIKE

      prefer to play Illinois. I would love a chance at the BTT title. There is absolutely no way that JB loses to Groce in that situation. I just don’t see it happening.

      • jemblue

        Third game in three days, though . . . will we still have the legs? Though I guess you could ask the same of Illinois.

        • Joel_C

          Right – would be 4th game in 4 days for them

        • bobohle

          It would be 4 in 4days for Illinois.

  • Champswest

    What do they say, live by the 3 die by the 3?
    For the second game in a row, Duncan Robinson hits a late 3 to keep us in the game and today Cam Chatman hits the game winner. Wow! Who saw that coming?
    Very good defensive game kept us in it and gave us a chance. I hope this is the spark that this team needed to finish out this year and lead into next year.

  • Coltrane

    Just beautiful. Beilein had a great game plan and the team stayed tough.

  • Devin McCauley

    We in?

    • Joel_C

      I’d say, cautiously, “yes”

  • A2MIKE

    I know post game emotions can be shortsighted, but I feel like we need to roll with Chatman and Wagner. Let them get some minutes. I still think Aubrey has a big game in him, hopefully tomorrow.

  • gobluemd16

    UNBELIEVABLE win. So, so, so proud of this team. I will admit, I did not think we had a good chance to win this game at all and thought it was all but over down 66-61 with 2ish minutes left. The players proved me wrong and damn am I happy about it!! So happy for Kam that he made that shot. We will need him tomorrow and the rest of the season. Now, as fans, we can start to realistically bubble watch. Lunardi still has us two from in and Vandy and St. Marys are ahead of us… how exactly? Vandy is 19-13, we are 21-11. Vandy has four top-50 wins like us. Only two of those are top 25 like all four of ours are. They have three(!) losses RPI 125-150 and we have.. zero over 75. How is this an argument? Better record, less bad losses, and more good wins. Now, St. Mary’s. 26-5 but have beaten NOBODY. Zero top 50 wins. Zero, and a SOS of 164. If we played that schedule, we may be 28-3

    • gobluemd16

      Maybe Lunardi is just looking at KenPom? Vandy is 26th and St. Marys is 33rd

      • A2MIKE

        He is so wrong on St Mary’s. They will be in the NIT guaranteed.

      • Joel_C

        KenPom definitely carries weight. We should at least enter the Top 50 after today. I really can’t see how you could say we’re not in at this point – basically so long as we don’t lose to Ilinois, out of the 4 possible scenarios tomorrow, we ought to be good. *Ought* to be…..I can’t speak for what the committee will do.

        • gobluemd16

          52nd on KenPom as of now

    • gobluemd16

      And Monmouth, 4 top-100 wins (zero in top 25) to our 4 in the top 25. Also, three losses to teams with an RPI over 200! How are we behind these teams??

      • robpollard

        I don’t know much, but there is zero percent chance Monmouth gets in and we do *not* get in. Other teams, like Vandy and Tulsa, I can see the discussion but Monmouth with those 3 horrible losses has no shot.

  • kuws

    don’t forget that walton hit a couple massive free throws :)

    so happy for this squad and the coaching staff!!!

  • Steve2081
  • Jon Sohn

    Great time to play their best game of the season. Great moment for Chatman after struggling quite a bit at Michigan.

  • malcolm bolt

    Chatman was totally ready for the shot. He had his hands ready to collect the pass and his knees set to shoot once receiving the pass.

    Terrific drive and dish by Walton to set up Kam.

    Excellent shot, young man!!

  • jemblue

    I didn’t see the game, but man, it must have been epic. Maybe I need to watch fewer games live. Sounds like a vintage Beilein effort in March. I see that we overcame poor 3-point shooting and got contributions from a lot of sources (Wagner! Chatman!). Great to see. Surely this puts us in the tournament now, right?

  • Mattski

    Five wins over top 25 teams, a 22-11 record in a year when you lose your two seniors and a third of your starting 6. I just don’t think it’s looking at it through rose-colored glasses to say that Beilein has done–flat out–very, very well.

    • gobluemd16

      Agree with all the above! Except we have 4 top 25 wins.. Hopefully 5 after tomrw :)

      • Mattski

        Thanks, amended.

  • Mattski

    THIS is very, very interesting: https://twitter.com/PBeilein/status/708373552341360641, as is the first tweet in response. Funny, because I was still looking back with a little bit of resentment to Harbaugh going into the IU locker room at halftime of our Crisler game.

  • Cory

    I knew after he drilled that buzzer beater in the preseason scrimmage that Kam was the man to take the last shot!

  • Tony DeMaria

    Was looking at Palm’s bubble watch from the other day. Today was Michigan’s 4th top 50 win, and 3rd top 25 win. None of the teams have more than 4 top 50 wins (most have less than 4), and none have more than 3 top 25 wins, and more importantly, none of the other teams on either side of his bubble can say they have both. Add to that no RPI 75+ losses and the committee should be on our side.

  • jemblue

    Will BTN rebroadcast the game?

    • bobohle

      I hope so.

    • robpollard

      I don’t think so. They rebroadcast yesterday’s UM-NU game and Iowa-Illinois game, but that’s b/c they didn’t have anything on in the evening. For tonight, they have MSU/OSU and then UMD/Neb, which are scheduled to be rebroadcast early in the morning.

      So the only way UM/IU will get re-shown, I think, is if one of those two games is a blowout and the powers that be decide to replace one of the currently scheduled rebroadcasts.

      • jemblue

        Ugh, that sucks. I forgot to set the DVR this morning – arrgh!

  • monte

    Max Biefeldt was late rotating over on the final play. Wish Walton had the explosion to get to the rim with that open lane. Hopefully, Xavier simpson is more explosive.

    • Joel_C

      That’s what he gets for crossing to the dark side

  • bobohle

    Can’t wait to see replay of the game. I had to miss the last 4 minutes of the game. We were down 66-61 at the time. UNBELIEVABLE FINISH!!! Thanks for bringing it home guys.

  • gobluemd16

    Bracketologists keep saying “Michigan is only 4-10 v the top 100..” But M is 4-8 against the top 25. No other bubble teams can say that. Even more safe teams like Wichita St and Vandy do not have that. I think we need to win another to be safe.

    • ChiMan

      It’s just so frustrating because it seems like we’ve been saying “one more win and we’re in” for like a month. I think this win did it, especially with Florida and Vandy’s losses. We just need everything else to hold serve and play tough against Purdue tomorrow and I think we’re in. Just my opinion though

      • GTFOmycourt

        Just my opinion but it would lunacy if we were out. In my opinion we were in if we even loss to Indiana by 5 in a tough game.

    • GTFOmycourt

      Exactly. It is so easy to spin the numbers to Michigan’s advantage. We only have 3 losses to teams that are not locks for the ncaat. All 3 of those losses are to bubble teams. 3 losses to teams outside the top 25 and Wisconsin is 26. 8 of our losses are to teams that are very possible final 4 type teams and that is not counting SMU and Wisconsin who are both teams, if eligible , would not surprise anyone to make it to the sweet 16 or even elite 8. 4 top 25 wins and zero losses outside top 10–can anyone else in the country say that?

      • GTFOmycourt

        Part of me thinks the news casters are just playing devil’s advocate so we stay tuned.

      • GTFOmycourt

        oops, zero losses outside top 100

      • gobluemd16

        After UCONN’s win (and knowing SMU would make it if eligible), we have one loss to a non-tourney team which is @OSU. And they are right on the bubble..

  • victorycircle

    The best thing that happened for this team was MAAR fouling out and Beliein going with Chatman instead of Dawkins. The funny thing is you guys didn’t even want Chatman or Donnal on this team and they contributed and helped us…I hope that this stop people for dismissing players before their senior year. Also, to all you so called fans who said that ” we didn’t have a chance ” . I hope you guys eat crow . Good win today. Now let’s see who have faith all of a sudden. Wagner will be a beast once he vet strenght. Stop giving up on players before they graduate!..Go blue.

    • bobohle

      Don’t include me in that call out. I’ve been true BLUE since 1964 thru good and bad.

      • victorycircle

        We need more people you around to even things out. Great to hear!

    • Joel_C

      I don’t think you can blame people for feeling like we had not chance based on the last few games

      • victorycircle

        Well aren’t suppose tonne so pessimistic about a team. I mean, I feel like we always have a chance and I feel like if any player is on this roster – they have potential. I am so happy for Kam, he made some people zip it up. It’s rather annoying to see fans being so pessimistic. People called Donnal soft and want him gone and I’m glad that he is pricing people wrong. We won yesterday and people were still complaining. I’m happy that we got this win. Hopefully the naysayers who only post when we lose, stay away. I bet that they believe that we don’t have a chance against Purdue. I guess that I’m too much of a fan I suppose.

        • Joel_C

          I felt I was being realistic. In any case, glad they shocked me today. Wouldn’t want to be a fan of any other team.

    • MAZS

      “You guys”

      really, your one of those people

      • victorycircle

        You’re incorrect. I root for this team regardless of who’s on it. IT’S CALLED being a true fan. I even went to Indy too see the games. You’ve never seen me say anything about this team.and you never will..

        • MAZS

          Well, I’ve been a 20 year season ticket holder, been to 3 NCAA regionals and 4 Final Fours with Michigan–so I am not worried about my bonafides as to what you characterize as a “true fan”. What you did was claim a position on the team after-the-fact—while also chastising the rest of the board. Others do it properly by making their arguments and challenging the naysayers contemporaneously. No one likes an “I told you so”, even less so without proof that you, in fact, “told anyone so”.

    • Tuff Enough

      WOW, what High horse we ride, Pride before the fall. Every person has a right to believe what they believe without being put on blast from another sinner. Go Blue..

  • bobohle

    Would have liked to see Crean’s post game.

  • Joel_C

    I “accidentally” forgot to take my lunch break on time to watch the end – oh man I was havin’ a one-man party in the break room. What a finish. Also, really fun read to go through the open thread chronologically :P

  • Stephen Chang

    What a game! I followed the updates because I was at the dentist getting my teeth cleaned. Chatman made a great shot. This should help Michigan’s chances of making the dance.