Final Horn: Michigan 71, Wisconsin 56

Dylan Burkhardt
on

Michigan’s Big Ten revenge tour in Washington D.C. will end with a trophy presentation. The Wolverines put together a complete effort to knock off Wisconsin in the Big Ten Tournament Championship on Sunday afternoon.

After playing two games decided by a combined 10 points this season, Wisconsin gave Michigan a fight, but the Wolverines controlled the action. Michigan never trailed by more than a point (6-5 early in the first half) and even if they never quite pulled away, they were the dominant team all afternoon

It was over when…

Michigan stretched its lead to 10 or 11 points several times, but always seemed to go cold from the field as Wisconsin would answer with a run.

But the Wolverines put together the decisive run down the stretch thanks to their transition play. DJ Wilson scored on a lobbed layup and then Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, DJ Wilson and Derrick Walton all picked up transition dunks or layups to close the game.

The final one, a finger roll by Walton capped a hell of a week by the senior point guard.

Stat of the game: Three-point shooting

Michigan was on fire from three-point range in the first half as it knocked in 7-of-13 three-point attempts, but tired legs started to show in the second. The Wolverines made just 1 of their first 7 three-point attempts in the second and just couldn’t pull away, but Zak Irvin and Duncan Robinson hit back-to-back threes late in the game to keep the lead intact. Michigan finished the game 10-of-23 from long distance despite playing its fourth game in four days.

MVPs:  Derrick Walton and Zak Irvin

Walton continued his incredible tear that can only be described as Kemba Walker-like. He hit big time jumper after big time jumper, even while playing his fourth game in as many days. Most importantly, he controlled the game for the Wolverines and picked his spots to attack. The senior guard handed out 6 assists on the night and also scored 21 points on 6-of-15 shooting.

But the real MVP might have been Michigan senior Zak Irvin who banged against bigger players and hit all of the big shots that Michigan needed, playing another stellar game against Wisconsin. Irvin finished with 15 points on an efficient 6-of-9 shooting line, with 7 rebounds and five assists.

Unsung hero: DJ Wilson

Wilson’s first two games against Wisconsin were humbling to say the least, but he came to play on Sunday. He finished with 17  points on 8-of-10 shooting and 6 rebounds rebounds in a complete performance that also saw him spend significant time at the five spot guarding Ethan Happ.

The DJ Wilson as a small ball five concept has picked up serious momentum in Washington D.C. and I’d expect it to continue into the NCAA Tournament as Wilson proves that he’s capable of defending fives and exploiting many of the same offensive mismatches as Moritz Wagner.

  • MGoTweeter

    Big Ten Tournament Champions!!! So happy for zak and Derrick. Been thru so much last few years and to see this kind of pay off is awesome. Get some rest and roll into the ncaas!

  • Wayman Britt

    Wow nice championship. I must admit after the OSU game I thought they would be in the NIT. I am glad I was wrong.

    • MGoTweeter

      Right there with you. I remember walking out of crisler that day saying the season was pretty much over. Can’t believe this is the same team. Takes a special group of guys to pull themselves together like this team did and some special coaches.

    • Fab 5 Legends

      @Illinois, vsOState, @SC, home freefall of VT, we showed some serious flaws…great teams learn from these mistakes, especially upperclassman! Great championship, well deserved…talk about destiny! Plane accident to BigTen Champs…now time for a run in the dance

  • Fab 5 Legends

    Unbeliavable! What a turnaround! We are BigTen Champs! We did it, what a successful end to the season! Would never imagine this watching Mich early on…our D has stepped up, Irvin is playing up to his potential. Go Blue!

  • Fab 5 Legends

    I was a big hater of Irvin this year, because I expected more of him during the year….he has shut everyone up after this tourny…he has stepped it up along with Walton (which has played well all year as our leader) Wilson, Wagner, Rahkman, X, Robinson all contributing!

  • Fab 5 Legends

    #RevengerTour was so sweet…Purdue, Minn, Wisco…

    • Wayman Britt

      Another nice revenge tour would be a win over Kentucky in the NCAA tourney.

      • bobohle

        I second that!

      • arete

        Kentucky and Louisville

      • Fab 5 Legends

        Oh man, that would be sweet,

  • bobohle

    I echo all your comments. If you really think about it there are really no words to describe this whole run.

  • MGoTweeter

    Wisconsin down to an 8? Might eliminate any chance of getting a 5. Hope Michigan is at least a 6

    • ChiMan

      Yea I saw that and my stomach dropped. That is not a good sign for the Big Ten

    • DetroitDan

      Yeah. That’s surprising.

    • DetroitDan

      B1G: Purdue, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Maryland, Michigan State, Iowa?

      • MGoTweeter

        No Iowa. Northwestern

        • DetroitDan

          My bad.

  • MGoTweeter

    So far this is pretty close to bracket matrix. South Carolina a couple spots higher but everyone else pretty much spot on

  • ChiMan

    Bullshit….

  • MGoTweeter

    Ridiculous. Basically gave Michigan zero credit for playing better basketball than almost the entire country over the last month and a half. Not to mention thru Oklahoma state in as a 10 when they should be higher. Absolute crap.

  • Mattbuckets

    7 what a joke, no way we should be playing a 1 or 2 in the 2nd round. Selection committee = no clue

  • MGoTweeter

    Fuck mark Hollis. Piece of human garbage. Head athletic director for rape state university and screws Michigan

  • Mattbuckets

    Oklaahoma st A 10 and Michigan st a 9. Unexplainable!!!!!!!

  • Barth Applefeld

    Small ball five all the way. DJ is a bit more of a shot blocker than Wagner is at the moment, and is apparently playing better deny. I heard announcer suggest Wagner is not as tall as some people claim. Don’t know, but they should be even better next year. Molding a team will be difficult, however, but maybe the UK transfer can help at guard. Until then, why not Michigan as NCAA champs!

  • Stephen Chang

    This team does remind me of when North Carolina State made their NC run in the NCAA tournament and got hot at the right time. Michigan is playing loose and relaxed and they are getting hot right now.