79-50 win for the good guys last night was not nearly as close as the final score indicated. 75 points with 10 minutes left to play and 4 in those last 10, a combination of a little sloppiness, getting the bench on the court and Beilein not wanting to run up the score on Miles's Huskers.
At one point the Wolverines were up 41 on a team that had not lost by more than 6 since early January.
As predicted, as soon as I elbowed GRIII, he tied a career high with 23 points. Caris LeVert led the team in rebounding for the 3rd straight game and Zak Irvin scorched the nets from 3 at a point in the game where Nebraska was hanging around.
Next up, at contender/pretender Iowa on Saturday, which is the start of another gauntlet run by Michigan.
@Iowa@Ohio StateWisconsin at homeMSU at home
MSU welcomes a hot Penn State team tonight and will see if they can match Big Ten leading Michigan's 9-1 league record.
Before I exit stage right, I'd like to clarify that this is indeed a baseball board-Go Tigers!
+ a coney dog
Well that game s.ucked. I guess Iowa decided to show up. If they put things together and play fundamentally sound, they're going to be a tough out in March.
As for Michigan, it's never easy going on the road in B1G games. Still, even though their recent losses are both on the road to quality teams, it's a bit troubling how Iowa and Indy both stifled Stauskas. Like I've been saying, if him AND Walton don't play well, they're done for as long as McGary is out.
The good news is the schedule lightens up a little as Michigan nears the end of B1G play, and McGary has begun rehab.
Sparty/Wisc on CBS right now.
Big wins for Iowa and Wisconsin, kept them on the edge of contention. Now we get to play a team that won on the road against both of them this month, at their place.
I'm calling out Robinson again. Stauskas will have Craft on him. Glen can't disappear like he seems to at times. He is better than his numbers and he has to step up.
Luckily for us, Caris LeVert has been playing out of his mind lately or it would be even more glaring just how bad Stauskas's numbers have been, though he's had defenses adjusted to deny him the ball. He's still been making boneheaded passes and missing the few open looks he's had, and missing assignments on D.
Horford has disappeared. Morgan is ok, but they cannot replace the intensity and athletic ability of McGary.
Boy how a week changes things for the Rockets.
Last week they lost in OT at Ohio 90-95.
Sitting at 20-3 coming into tomorrow's big rematch with the Bobcats.
But then their top scorer Justin Drummond gets suspended for the game cause he picked up a DUI on Saturday. Complete shocker as all the reports on him had him being a very nice kid and not a troublemaker at all. Well we all make mistakes and he'll pay his dues. There is no policy at UT that said he had to miss any time for this, but big props to UT coach for handing out a suspension to his best player right before a very important game.
So now the Rockets have to figure out a way to beat Ohio without their top scorer. The good news, they are plenty deep. The other starting 4 are all double digit threats and they are strong in guards off the bench. They are going to have to figure out a way to clamp down on defense and come up with enough offense to take down Ohio at home. Ohio isn't a top scoring team in any way but they gashed the Rockets poor defense last time they met.
If Toledo pulls out a win, they sit in good position to run the table to the MAC tourney. From there, even a loss in the MAC tourney would still leave them in a strong position to make the big dance as an at large team.
But if they take their 4th loss, they would likely be on the outside looking in if they don't win the MAC tourney.
Big game tomorrow. Big game.
Huge game tonight in C-Bus. Don't see how Blue wins it, other than they are currently a top 10 ish team. But all the other advantages that are intagebals are in favor of OSU.
Tuff stretch for U-M, while Green has it e-z till the rematch @ E. Lansing. They now have there troubles too, but with the upcoming games and inevitable surprises, if MSU wins to the Mich/Mich St. game (Feb 23) Sparty could be close to the top-5. While Blue is close to being #20.
But as they say, that's why they play the games.
Go Blue !!! (and Green :)
LeVert 3-11Glenn no show 3-10
Got all the threes, and the Buckeye bench did nothin'
Snatched a win from a loss. This is the type game that gets ya beat by a #12 seed in a month though.
Death, taxes, and Ohio State choking in big games.........regardless of the sport.
I love seeing the Bucknuts lose.
Problem with Michigan this year is somewhat parallel to last year though I think they are better down low is that anytime the team is down they sulk and let it get out of control (see Iowa). Last night almost was that game. But Glenn needs to get it together or the Wolverines will be an early round casualty in the tourney.
The NCAA tourney is all about match ups. Michigan's defense is lacking, especially against teams that get out in transition (their match up D in transition is not good at all) and big teams can pound them. But, get the right kind of match up, and Michigan can win 2-3 games again in the Tourney. Still don't see this team as a final four team, as they are too reliant on 3 pt shooting, which can come and go.
As for the rest of the Big 10 Season, i think it all comes down to Feb 23rd in AA. MSU wins, they win the league by probably 2 games (they have a tough final stretch with at UM, Iowa and at OSU) but their players should be getting healthier and all of that.
Michigan, if they beat Bucky Badger this Sunday, and somehow beat MSU will most likely (in my mind) drop one of the four remaining games (my best guess is at Purdue, or home to Indiana, that team just has their number), which would probably lead to a shared UM/MSU title.
All in all, as a die-hard Wolverine fan, this has been an unexpected and fun run, even with the recently encountered speed bumps. Coming out of the non conference with 4 losses, and then McGary going down, expectations were not high coming into the Big 10 portion. But, with wins, on the road, at: Minnesota, Nebraska (only 1 home loss all year, to Michigan), Wisconsin, MSU, and OSU, what more can you say. Michigan has proven it on the court. They now need to hold serve at home, and finish strong with the last 4 "winnable" games (At Purdue, home to Minny, at Illini, home to Indiana).
Also a curious stat to see at the end of the year, who got the biggest benefit on the teams that they only had to play once, Michigan's one plays this year are:
AwayIllini (3-8 tied for last)OSU (6-6 fifth)HomePenn State (3-8 tied for last)Northwestern (5-6 tied for 6th)
Current Record of one plays: 17-28 = .378 Winning Percentage
I'll look at it from a different angle. On the road, in an arena where Beilein has never won, Michigan only needed about 30 minutes of good basketball to beat a pretty good team. It wasn't pretty, it wasn't efficient, but it ended up a "W".
This is a very young team with few upperclassmen. The only senior is Morgan. After him it's freshmen and sophomores. For this young team to have won against the stronger teams in the league at their home arenas, they are a pretty good basketball team. Just the type of team that can go practically anywhere and win.
Now the ball is in Green and White's court. Northwestern and Nebraska at home this week, 2 teams playing above their past level of play.
So what do you do if you are Toledo and you need a big win without your to scorer (14.6 ppg)? You play clutch D and you let your 3rd best scorer Rian Pearson go off for 29 points. UT up 36-30 at the break and Ohio came out swinging, hitting them right in the mouth with a powerful run to go up 5 with 11 left. But Pearson took over the game and within 4 minutes had Toledo back up by 4. Ohio mounted a late charge but couldn't get enough shots to fall from beyond the arc and Toledo ends up with the win 82-76. Toledo now 21-3 on the year with 8 games left.
Only tough teams remaining are a pair of games at and home to E Mich and then a home game against W Mich, who just knocked off Akron and handed Toledo their first MAC loss.
Toledo should be the favorites in all of them, and if the run the table, they would be in position for an at large bid, even with a MAC tourney loss.
Not much going today
need a run
Well, so much for an at large bid.
UT went up to Yipsi and the top Defense in the MAC held the top offense to just about half of their game average, and cruised to an easy 63-44 victory.
21-4 now, and EMU had been slipping in the RPI.
They will need some help to get in at large but pretty much its win the tourney or you are out. The good, they have a soft schedual to rack up some wins and, the only 2 teams that have stopped UT on the road that are left (WMU, EMU) UT gets them but again at home.
If the Rockets get to the MAC final, they got a shot at an at-large.
As always, depends on some of the other major teams that drop in their tourney's.
The way the MAC tourney is set up
The top 2 teams get byes in the first 3 rounds
Essentially, if the Rockets finish 1 or 2, they only play 2 games, a byes right into the semi-finals.
Seems like if Michigan gets down, they get down on themselves and implode from within. Happened at Iowa and now Wisconsin today.
Big win for the good guys yesterday. It didn't look good after the first 12 minutes or so, with MSU looking more hungry for the win, but Caris LeVert led a comeback from a 12 point deficit and Nik Stauskas heated up in the 2nd half.
11-4 MSU's 3 remaining games:
IllinoisIowa@ Ohio State
11-3 Michigan's 4 remaining games:
It would seem the seeds will go
1) Blue2) Green
Then ya would think Wisconsin @ 3.
After that.....who knows. Could be any one of the OSU, Iowa, and even Nebraska if they get a run going.
Not playing that extra game in the Tourney usually has a lot to do with getting thru to the final four of that Tournament.