A free throw is a 15-foot shot.
And that was the worst thing ever.
The final shot (Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog). An even more painful angle here.
This wasn't how Trey Burke's almost-certainly-final home game was supposed to end.
With 27 seconds left and Michigan clinging to a one-point lead, Burke stepped to the line for a one-and-one. The 79% free-throw shooter caught the left side of the iron, and a stunned Crisler crowd watched the ball ricochet to the corner, where it was corralled by Cody Zeller. On the other end, Zeller laid in two of his game-high 25 points to give Indiana the lead, and with no timeouts it was up to Burke to engineer a game-winner with 13 seconds left.
Burke's found daylight driving down the left-hand side, but he couldn't finish with his outstretched left arm while trying to draw contact. The rebound went directly to Jordan Morgan, whose putback hung for an agonizing moment before falling unceremoniously off the precipice. Christian Watford chased down the rebound and saved the ball to Zeller, and in the blink of an eye Michigan had gone from the verge of a second straight Big Ten title to watching the Hoosiers celebrate an outright crown on their home floor.
Michigan's first home loss of the season has consequences going beyond a missed banner; with the loss, the Wolverines are locked into the fifth seed of the Big Ten Tournament. Instead of a bye, Michigan will face Penn State in the first round on Thursday afternoon.
In the aftermath, John Beilein praised his team's effort, but said there are "some things we have to work on" if his team wants to compete in Chicago this week and, beyond that, the NCAA Tournament.
Rebounding is clearly one of those things. Indiana pulled down 24 of their 40 missed shots, which helped them overcome an unusually subpar shooting effort from inside the arc (23/54). Four of Zeller's ten rebounds came on offense, while Victor Oladipo tallied seven en route to his own double-double (14 points, 13 rebounds). Oladipo also starred on defense, playing most of the game man-up on Burke; while Michigan's star tallied 20 points, it took him 20 shots to get there, and his four assists were cancelled out by four turnovers.
With Burke held in check, Michigan's supporting cast couldn't get the job done. Tim Hardaway Jr. was 4/6 from two but just 1/6 from three and missed the front end of his own critical late one-and-one with the chance to extend Michigan's lead to five. Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III combined for 17 first half points but just eight in the second stanza. Jordan Morgan and Mitch McGary were 5/14 from the field and each had just two defensive rebounds.
In the end, failing to do the basics cost Michigan a banner. In the last 52 seconds, the Wolverines missed three of four free throws—along with the chance to attempt two more—and allowed six points to Zeller, two of them on a putback after Michigan once again couldn't box him out. When it came time to prove which team was the best in the Big Ten this season, Indiana stepped up.
Instead of rising to the occasion, Michigan fell victim to familiar bugaboos, then watched as their two best players missed undefended 12-foot shots to seal it. The final shot rolling off the rim was the final nail in a coffin the Wolverines had constructed for themselves.
A dejected Trey Burke walked off the court with his head down after the final buzzer. His magnificent, brief career at Crisler is probably over, and he won't want to read the last page of this particular chapter.
A free throw is a 15-foot shot.
And that was the worst thing ever.
Your both wrong, neither twelve or fifteen is the correct answer. Maybe this is why people don't make free throws anymore
But life goes on. This team has played a good, but not great season, in arguably the toughest conference.
As much as it hurts, here are some things to keep in mind:
In Burke's possibly worst game this season, Stauskas and Robinson finally showed up on the big stage, carrying Michigan for much of the game as Burke worked out of his funk.
Hardaway started attacking early, but reverted back. If somehow he could dial that first half back in...
Role players were gritty, doing things not on a stat sheet, but contributing where they could. Spike comes to mind.
We are 25-6 with losses from the following:
An in and out three ball by Burke against OSU after one of our worst first halfs of the year.
A halfcourt miracle by Wisconsin
A now seemingly trap game against PSU, a team that is playing as well as any in the B1G.
A one point loss against the probable best team in the conference, where the game was gifted away.
The luck that seemed to benefit our sports teams, such as football last year, hasn't been on our side this season. But that's the beauty of things. We can sit here and complain about the little things, and sure, that criticism is valid, but a bounce here and there, and we are possibly 29-2, 28-3. We will be a #2 seed, #3 at worst depending on this weekend, a team that probably won't be as talked about as others. Perfect. Let's go get some revenge this weekend, and make a run into April.
How was this Burke's worst game of the season? With Oladipo guarding him, he still outscored the guy, I think he ended up with18....
What I said was in no way meant to be an indictment of Burke, rather a compliment to Stauskas and GR3, since a reoccuring criticism of both this season has been they don't seem to be there in big games.
But to answer your reply, Burke's FG% was his second worst (35%) this B1G season, behind the first Ohio St. loss (30%). His second half scoring came primarily off of the switches that were occuring, he hit some key 3's, but I think we would agree this didn't feel like a Burke signature game. His running floaters werent falling, it felt like he was forcing too much at times, etc. But me personally, for what hes done for UM this season, he would have gotten a pass from me even if he would have gone 0/20 from the field. SO again, not trying to criticize Burke in my original comment, more of a compliment for the others.
I tend to agree - though it really has no bearing on the original commenter's point - that this was not Burke's worst game. I think 6 turnovers against a woeful Penn State squad fits that bill.
Too early... Still need kittens
Let's peak and get hot starting Thursday... I'm seriously hungry for revenge.
Sadness. Go Blue into the post-season.
like while we missed our free throws which ended up being huge, I think we lost because we relied on Burke too much, too late in the game again... Everything seemed to be falling into place in the first half because everybody was a part of the game... Then again he is potentially the Player of the Year so I can't really blame Coach B.
Coach stated at presser that rebounding "was on him". Totally not true and the players are going to have to step up. Two instances stand out in my mind:
1. Oladipo's tip with the shot clock running out. If you look at the play, Stauskas is just standing there expecting the shot clock to go off. Well it didn't and two for them
2. Will Sheehey comes out of nowhere to tip the ball in, probably his first of his life time and Trey Burke standing there flatfooted watching the action
They scored on 60% of their offensive rebounds-we were lucky to be in it with that statistic
And, of course, with the strategy of fouling at the end of the game, if you can't make your free throws, at least play some defense and don't just concede two points.
This still has been a great season but I'm very afraid of the lapses this team goes thru. The Big Ten championship should have been theirs!
I know ripping on Nik's defense is the rule on here, but its more than that. UMs had a double team on that play. Nik had the choice of leaving Hulls or trying to get to Oladipo. He stayed with Hulls. Good play? We were all on him for doing the opposite vs PSU. He was in rebounding position when you saw him, but it was an airball.
in the sense that he recruits a finese team that will always be at a disadvantage when it comes to defensive rebounding and interior defense. it's possible that we could luck into a guard/forward like oladipo who is a monster on the boards, or a novak who wills himself into position, but that is much harder to find than a generic big man who is 6'10 or so and can just grab the ball.
Although it's true players have to make the effort to get rebound, box out, etc, it is ALSO true that Beilein is the one putting one big on the court most of the time. He's the one who chooses to put smaller lineups on the floor as the rule rather than exception. In a lot of games against the top B10 teams, we're significantly undersized. IU was constantly reaching over us to get rebounds. So was State. I'm not surprised at all IU kicked our butts on the boards yesterday. That probably cost us the game as much as the missed FT's at the end.
Rough ending, but great game. Burke has a chance lay down a damned fine coda. '89 all over again. Bank it.
I think that last paragraph really expresses the disappointment Trey and everyone else feels after such a grueling season. The emotional feelings regrettably resemble I dare say the '93 championship game. I hope this provides motivation for Trey and the rest of the team for a strong showing in both tournaments.
Earlier in the season they were abused in physical games like this, but not today. They play like that and they will have a shot to play in the final four. Really hoped they would call that an intentional foul at the end. I know it's the end of the game, but I think you could make the argument that it's part of the reason for the rule in the first place, to not allow a cheap foul to take guaranteed pouts away.
Ace, I think you're a little harsh about the team "not rising to the occasion" and whatnot. We gave almost certain #1-seeded team all it could handle. Yeah, some guys didn't shoot well but that's going to happen in a game like this, where two strong teams bring their A game. Lots of IU guys struggled from the floor. I would sum it up by saying that we played well enough to win for 39 minutes, and just didn't finish.
This is a blast from the past - an agonizing one-point loss to IU in basketball that costs us the Big Ten title. It's been awhile. Sucks as much as it did then.
And Burke climbed Pauline Blvd to where it intersected Maple Raod, and there the Lord showed him the whole Big Ten, from Nebraska to Maryland. From the valley of corn, to the city of wind, all of the forest land of Penn, and to the heathens who worship trees with eyes.
Then the Lord said to Burke, “This the conference I promised on oath to give to those who will play point guard after you. I have let you see it with your own eyes, but you will not hold sway over it.”
Then Burke, the point guard for the Wolverine, left for the NBA. They mourned for his loss in Ann Arbor, and no one is sure where he will be drafted. Trey was a sophomore when he left, and his jump shot was not weak nor his strength gone.
The Michigan fans grieved for Burke for the basketball offseason until the time of weeping and morning was over.
Then Derrick the son of Walton was filled with the spirit of a Wolverine so his future team mates would listen to him and did what the Lord had commanded Burke.
Few players have risen in the Crisler arena like Burk, who knew greatness face to face. For few have ever shown the mighty cross over or performed the awesome deeds that Burke did in the sight of all Ann Arbor.
At least this is the best explination I can come up with for the last few minute of this game, and some others...
obviously this one. The game was ours to win and we simply didn't take it.
I believe we are every bit as good as IU ... tho I don't think IU is the best team in country either. The seeding sucks, but I like actually playing a warm up game before playing Wisconsin.
Does anyone think we're the 5th most talented Big Ten team? But that's how we played over the season, so that's what we are. Disappointing.
But you have to factor in that Morgan was out (or severely hobbled) for the toughest part of the schedule. With Morgan healthy, this team has great upside. Without him we have huge problems on interior D. We saw that even today when he went to the bench.
MSU can complain about guys being out and they were closer to a title than us. Who doesn't have injuries over that long a season? Maybe Indiana skates through pretty free. That's why they win. But I don't think Ohio State or certainly Wisconsin had better overall talent yet we're the ones playing Thursday.
When I look at this team, I only see one really good ballhandler (Burke), only one good interior defender- when healthy (Morgan), and no consistent interior scorers.
Burke is a stud, certainly. But our next-best players are streaky perimeter guys (THJ, Robinson, Stauskas) who aren't very talented defensively, and then Morgan, who doesn't give us much offense. I think fans overrate our talent a little. I don't think we are more talented than IU or MSU, and Ohio is debatable. Wisconsin we are more talented than, but we also didn't get to face their piss-poor schedule (or have their incredible luck at making buzzer-beaters).
Don't over-analyze it. The top five teams in the league were extremely close. If we'd simply closed this game out at the line or on one of those last two shots, there'd have been a four-way tie for first. We were literally a bounce of the basketball away from that.
You have to seize te opportunity when you can. Players like Burke don't come around every year and you can count the amount of games he has left in a Michigan uniform on your hands.
In a hockey game, that's a penalty shot ten times out of ten. Yet in basketball, they can go to video replay and look at a guy getting taken down on a breakaway and not call it. Still doesn't cover all the warts and it just feels like a sad ending and waste of Burke's talent given we'll all be watching him play for some NBA team next year.
They obviously competed to the max and the difference is our good FT shooters couldn't make 'em.
Crean should zero class and yet our kids kept their composure. Kids showing more maturity than a 45-year old coach.
Proud of their effort. They've been soft in a few games, but today the older team just muscled out a 1-pt win.
I think the inability to defend a lead from the free throw line does not bode well for the NCAA tournament. Also, rebounding. On the other hand, maybe Burke can draw a foul.
The frustrating thing is that we shouldn't be this bad at the line. Burke, Hardaway and Robinson are good shooters in general. They should be money at the line. It's amazing to me that Hardaway and Robinson are actually below 70% on the year. That just doesn't make sense.
Except we defended the lead from the line this week at Purdue. It's a game, it's frustrating, but shit happens.
Our flaws were on display this game, start to finish. We have enough talent to beat anyone, but enough flaws to lose to anyone.
Make a FT, win the game. Box some poeple out, win the game. Maybe get a call, win the game. Make a tip in that is there for the taking, win the game.
We got destroyed on the glass, a continuous achilles heel. Burke, for as amazing as he is, neve rhit a game winner all year and had tons of chances. (Yes, hes the reason we won 25 games, but still, facts are facts). Indiana is not much better than we are, but they are because they have the heart to close out a game when it matters. We, do not.
Hardaway continues to be the most vexing player on the planet. 1-6 3's, missed front end of a 1-1 at end. This just hurts. Admittedly, I said before season began that Sweet 16 was the goal, and now, that seems about where we can get to, but it will feel like a failure regardless, because of how much we showed this year. Perhaps, we'll get lucky and grow a few balls and make a tourney run, but anyone truly expecting that will/should happen is kidding themselves.
We are a good team in a year with no great teams, so all is up for grabs, but this is a low feeling that you could just see coming once we didnt get the call (even though it was a tough one, it should have been called) and then split at the line from GR3. The rest, you could just see it happening before your eyes like a premonition. Fuck.
Burke's steal and dunk against MSU doesn't count as a game-winner?
It does and it doesn't. He made an incredible play, so techincally yes, but he wasn't being defended, so in that sense, no. Your takeaway from my post is the wrong one though. I complimented the kid and said I loved him, but he has the ball in his hands EVERY game down the stretch and he has continually come up "short" there. Again, love him to pieces, but it is what it is. He generally has settled for the long three but has attacked on occasion and missed there too. I'm not putting this game on him, when he was at the line, I was actually confident he'd convert, but miss again he did in a crucial situation. Maybe he can go on a Kemba Walker type run in the tourney, but its hard to be really confident that it will happen. Gotta really hope that GR3 doesnt go pro more than anything, or next year, we could be thin, esp if Hardaway tries his hand at NBA, and fails, like Manny Harris did. GR3 is the biggest talent we've had at Michigan for the NBA in 15 years or so by my guess off the top of my head, so we need him to come back next year and be legit.
You seem to be restricting the dataset to last-second possessions. Watching today, the Purdue game and against MSU, I saw Burke keep us alive again and again with tough shots down the stretch.
fair point. Just would have loved to see him (or the team of course) finish today. Hopefully we can make a run, down now, but not out.
Wow, is there another coach in the country that's lost as many big game heartbreakers in the last 3 years as John Beilein?
I can think of these . . .
- The last second runner miss against Duke in the NCAA's. Goodbye sweet 16,
- The Wisconsin backboard buzzer beater,
- The game-ending Alley Oop miss against MSU,
- The OSU half court buzzer beater in the Big Ten Tourney,
- The Wisconsin half court buzzer beater this year,
- The rim-roller miss against Indiana. Goodbye Big Ten Championship.
Each one of these left me totally numb. There are probably more that I'm not remembering/repressing.
Hopefully things start to even out . . . quickly.
but at what point do we point not to luck but strategy? I really like Coach B, but sometimes his strategies befuddle me. Just a thought. Hope it does indeed swing in our favor though...matter of fact, how about immediately and lets go on a run in this thing!!
But we've won a lot of games by the skin of our teeth, too.
Our last two wins over at MSU at Crisler were both one-point games where MSU had the ball in the final seconds.
We beat Ohio this year when Craft got blocked/fouled (depending on which team you root for) twice at the end.
We just beat Purdue when Terone Johnson mishandled a pass when he was open for a tying three in the final seconds.
Last year we beat Northwestern twice in overtime.
A couple bounces go the other way last season, and we could be sitting here lamenting that we haven't won a B1G title since 1986.
Plenty of teams and coaches, probably most of them, have both lost and won big games on last second shots through the years. It's all part of the game, especially with a conference like the B1G where there are so many quality teams competing week in and out. And if the tournament were seeded today, Indiana would almost certainly be the top no. 1 seed.
I really disliked pulling all of M's players off the foul lane in the last minute while the shooter is taking his 1 & 1. First, if he misses, there is a chance to get the rebound. Second, for the shooter, it just feels different not to have at least two players in there.
Definitely should have won the B10. Wisky, PSU and today's game should all have been W's.
The good news is that this team can and should keep on getting better.
If we'd have gotten some of that Assembly Hall home cookin' we'd have been in the double bonus and had a chance at a second free throw . . . three times. Instead, Indiana had two fouls to give just to get us to the line at the end of the game.
One more thing on this and why it is bad, I think it actually puts more pressure on the FT shooter, because he knows if he misses, his team is not getting the rebound. Instead we have 4 guys back to defend one man from the other team. So silly. Especially for a team where FT shooting has been a problem in trying to close teams out over the last two years. Give the kids some confidence!! That is definitely on Coach B.
I honestly don't think having UM players lined up affects the mental state of the FT shooter. I blame late-game tension and /or fatigue as bigger factors. It's a free shot with nobody guarding you that you practice countless times without anyone lining up.
Another reason you keep everyone from lining up is to avoid silly over-the-back fouls while going for a rebound. I personally would still put 2 UM players in rebound position, but I can see why some coaches wouldn't do it.
I can't stand that Beilein does that, but thats been his philosophy since he came to Michigan. I don't get it either, but maybe if your team rebounds as poorly as this one, it doesnt matter.
Indiana has a great basketball team this year, I can deal with losing to them. What I cannot deal with is their d-bag fans, including most my friends who were rooting for them.