Tom Izzo discusses the loss in Ann Arbor along with Darius Morris and Kalin Lucas’ exchange on the court after the final horn — around the 2:00 mark. Izzo on the exchange:
“I’ll straighten that (Lucas throwing the ball at Morris) out but at the same time, (Morris) going for a layup with 2 seconds left and talking a lot stuff all game, including at our place, maybe he (Morris) deserved it.” – Tom Izzo
Sorry for the subpar audio quality, turn the volume up and try headphones.
Michigan’s RPI is up to 54 with the win. We’re uploading all of the post game videos now including both coaches and extra players.
A win won’t make up for every close loss this season, and it probably won’t even cement Michigan’s NCAA tournament chances, but it would certainly make a statement. After a week of buildup, everyone is well aware how important this game has become. Michigan is favored (by 1 point), won the first meeting on the road, and is playing at home. Now it’s finally time to play the game.
Tip off is 2 p.m. eastern on CBS (regional map) but if you live out of the broadcast area, you can stream the game here. As always, we encourage you to join the conversation in the open thread.
“That’s a game that can turn your season around” – Zack Novak after Michigan beat Michigan State in East Lansing.
The differences between this Michigan team and last year’s team are best illuminated by how their seasons turned at the end of January. Michigan hosted Michigan State around that time last year and lost in devastating fashion as DeShawn Sims’ desperation layup rolled off the rim at the buzzer. The loss moved Michigan to 10-10 (3-5) and they would only beat two other teams, Iowa (three times) and Minnesota (twice), over the next two months. That regular season ended with a disheartening loss at Michigan State that looked more like a Spartan victory lap than an actual game. Michigan scored just 14 first half points and the game ended with Michigan State’s seniors kissing the block-S in the middle of the court.
This year, Michigan traveled to East Lansing on the tail end of a six game losing streak and accomplished what felt impossible. The Wolverines won the game then used that momentum to kick off a 7-3 stretch over the next month. Now the Wolverines have a chance to complete the turnaround, clinch a Big Ten Tournament bye, and bolster their NCAA Tournament resume. All that lies in the way is their in-state rival, a team that has been to back-to-back Final Fours and is coached by a man that lives for this rivalry.
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If you don’t know the rules you can read them here. All players are eligible for this game.
The standings page has been updated here.
Please remember to use the same name and e-mail address that you have used for previous games or your selection will not be counted toward your overall tally. You are welcome to join in at anytime but you might have some catching up to do if you missed earlier games. It’s also worth noting that the contest will continue into the post season and include any tournament play.
Video of John Beilein from media availability today. The coach discussed having some time to focus on improving his team vs. preparing them for a specific opponent, how he keeps his eye on bubble teams and what his team will have to do to sweep the Spartans. Notes and quotes are after the jump.
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