Today, Oct. 25, and everyday thereafter!
From Portage Northern.
Abbreviated recap since my laptop ate the first one and we're about to record a podcast.
Nik Stauskas scored 21 second-half points [Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog]
Just when they needed it most, Michigan's stars aligned to lead them to a 79-70 win over Michigan State, wresting control of the Big Ten from the Spartans in the process.
Nik Stauskas scored 21 of his 25 points in the second half, including 11 straight for the Wolverines. Regardless of the defender, Stauskas shot over Spartans for a series of daggers, including the three-pointer that gave Michigan the lead for good with 10:04 remaining. Despite taking a series of shots that few other players in the country could even attempt without getting pulled, Stauskas finished the game 9/13 from the field, with a 3/5 mark from beyond the arc.
Michigan went on a 21-3 second-half run in which Stauskas and Caris LeVert (23 points) scored every Wolverine point. In addition to hitting huge shots in the second half, LeVert keyed the Michigan offense in the first, scoring 14 points and nailing a buzzer-beating triple to end the first stanza; before the shot even hit its apex, LeVert was already skipping back to the locker room.
Glenn Robinson III (15 points, 6/12 FG), the only other Wolverine to score in double-digits, made the most noise with his final shot from the field, a spectacular reach-back alley-oop finish on a feed from Stauskas to put the Wolverines up 11 with 2:33 to play. Not only did the dunk put the game out of reach, it nearly brought Crisler crumbling to its foundation.
Aside from the offensive heroics from Michigan's stars, the biggest contribution came from John Beilein, whose call to go to a 1-3-1 defense in the second half played a huge role in Michigan's big run. Not only did the Spartans commit seven second-half turnovers, they had difficulty getting the ball to Adreian Payne (12 points) even though Jordan Morgan and Jon Horford both dealt with foul trouble.
There were other contributions, as well. Spike Albrecht spearheaded a 10-0 first-half run when Keith Appling had to sit with two fouls. Horford and Morgan limited MSU's offensive rebounding. Derrick Walton threaded a gorgeous pass to Robinson for one of his three assists. Zak Irvin threw down a breakaway dunk to highlight the run started by Albrecht after Spike and LeVert forced a Payne turnover.
In the end, the extra possessions generated by Michigan's incredible ball control—just three turnovers all game—and State's inability to do the same made the difference. The Wolverines now stand alone in first place with a favorable schedule moving forward. The Big Ten isn't secured just yet; this was, however, the biggest hurdle remaining in the race for a banner.
Today, Oct. 25, and everyday thereafter!
Wait, this column is the rushed/abbreviated version?! Ace, you are an incredible writer. Great column. I look forward to it after every game (even the losses).
No wonder you're at the 12+ MGo-grade level.
This was the first post I ever wrote in a car; WTKA's wireless network serendipitously reached the parking lot. Managed to finish up the post just as Brian got there (I anticipated more traffic, was 20 minutes early, and figured I'd give it a shot).
The one decent thing about losing a post is it's easier to write the second time around.
Take care of the basketball and play defense. Wow. Was the final count only three turnovers? The defense, especially in the second half, was smothering any efforts Sparty made for a comeback in the last 10 minutes and forcing a lot of Sparty turnovers.
Put those two facets together with timely shooting and Nik S getting his mojo going....we can make a run at both the B1G and NCAA Tournaments.
Added bonus: recruits at the game should have gotten some good Michigan vibes.
THJ said in an interview with ESPN that if you give JB a week he is going to beat you. I really believe it now. He is just an incredible coach.
Except Wisconsin last Sunday. But generally yes. There was a stat last year breaking down Beileins records with 4 or more days of rest an it was impressive
the wisky game wasn't a week. sun game followed by a tues game.
it's great to be a Michigan Wolverine. Good win boys now finish the job and get a league title. There is still work to be done. Go Blue.
Anyone know when there will be a replay?
Play of the game was Sparty slapping the floor to open the second half. They proceeded to hold us to 45 points!
Every time they slap the floor we fucking score!
and I think it got Stauskas juiced up. Maybe it was a coincidence. Did anyone else think that?
I caught that as well. They did that the first game and we scored every time
Beilein on pace to hang a 3rd consecutive banner in the Crisler Rafters. Share of B10 Title, Final Four, almost assuredly another B10 Banner.
Then, who knows....The Dance looms.
How weird was the Morgan blocking foul that should've been a charge on Appling, and the subsequent foul on Sparty 10 seconds later to give the ball back to Michigan?! Even Izzo was cool with it. (It wasn't a fair trade off however, as it added a foul to Morgan who we all knew was going to need as many fouls as he could get, though it obviously worked out.)
it would have been appling's 3rd foul with about 15 min to go.
I counted 2 with a possible 3rd questionable call against McMorgan. He's a great defender that rarely gets the benefit of a no call. I liked the officials realizing they blew it and giving the make-up call. Though I'd rather they get it right it made for an interesting exchange between coaches and officials.
Yeah, I think Izzo was giving Beilein props for getting on the refs and getting that makeup call. Pretty cool interaction.
"I just came out with the mindset in the second half that I wasn't going to be stopped," Stauskas said.
More of The Mindset going forward, please!
I have been contained the past few games. I'm tired of it. I'm not going to be contained anymore.
said enough. He'd been so passive, so willing to allow an opponent to take him out of the game.
Great game! I view this as B10 regular season champions game 1 of 4. Three more to go and we're in the drivers seat. I made my kids bounce up and down on the couch and turned my TV up to simulate being there. Must of been the perfect atmosphere for our recruiting visitors. GO BLUE!
"The Big Ten isn't secured just yet; this was, however, the biggest hurdle remaining in the race for a banner." """"
Having run the hurdles back in my high school days, though, let me warn everyone: you have to make sure you keep your steps right, otherwise those last few hurdles get a lot harder to clear.
Wisconsin has a really easy remaining schedule, so don't count on any losses there. We can only afford one more loss for an outright title.
One more loss is a shared title if Staee wins out. Wisc has 5 losses so I'm hoping they're not even in the scenario because that means we'd have to lose 2 of our next 3. I do believe we have two at home and one on the road. It's a matter of this unit staying hungry now. I've seen them fade a couple times after big wins this year but I think these guys with their big game experience will get it done.
Actually we have four games left so that does leave a lot of crazy scenario room. Should be good entertainment that is bad for my heart.
Doesn't head-to-head act as a tie-breaker when deciding the Big Ten title?
On the road @ Purdue.
Let's take over Mackey Arena!
is the next one.
got tickets for my dad and I next Saturday! Go Blue
two forced passes by Stauskas, and the 35 second clock
incredible ball handling by young point guards, contrated with the wild Spartan passes and slipups
crowd was the best I remember
Crowd was the best in my fifteen years as a season ticket holder. Love the fact the Sparty numbers present also seemed at a low. Great win; great play; great coaching!
that this team is schizophrenic and plays really well in the big rivalry games, unlike the FB team, and then seems to lose badly to teams they should beat. Thats the only reason I wouldnt pop the cork just yet on the BgTn championship.
Based on one shitty performance against Indiana and a game when the three most talented players were hurt?
Wisconsin, Iowa, Duke, Arizona, Iowa State. Pretty good teams, all.
Exciting game. Great come back. Solid defense. Grit and determination.
Now, let's go beat Purdue.
and shouldn't have been surprised to see this:
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Coach Tom Izzo isn't expecting his team to be at full strength anytime soon - but he still feels the Spartans can make this season a memorable one.
"Normality is not going to hit our team," Izzo said. "I still think we have enough to do it without being normal, I really do. I think we have enough different pieces where we can still make a serious run at this league championship and beyond."
Mitch McGary has been out for both wins so you know what you can do? You can
I can't wait til he calls them scrubs.
..that Payne's technical actually turned the momentum in our favor. Even if I was an impartial spectator, I would still hate Sparty for being the shit-talking goons that they are. Fuck slapping the floor. Play defense.
They deserve to lose for their arrogance and thuggish demeanor. I love the fact that we are confident, but bring a class to the game that represents the conference and Michigan well. No matter what happens the rest of the season, we are Champions for the way that we carry ourselves as a program and I couldn't be prouder of Beilein and the culture he's established around the basketball team.
Michigan is the only team in the B1G that has a better conf. winning percentage than overall season winning percentage. Really shows how much this team has grown and what a tough non-conference schedule that UM had.
Just to continue my entrance to mgoblog as a grammar nazi, I approve the appropriate use of the word "however," in the last sentence of the post. As a post-positive, it should not be used to begin a sentence. It should, however, be used to qualify a previous statement. This is the first time I've seen the word used appropriately in years, even season reporters frequently flub its use.
None of my sparty friends and family who were talking shit to me before game 1 were nowhere to be found earlier today or yesterday. Its like....they KNEW.
And just like that, Izzos legacy has already been burned back a bit. Beilein 6 wins in last 8, with huge recruiting disadvantage. Its now been proven that Beilien the superior coach.
I'm hoping that the best is still yet to come. Izzo hasn't recruited well the past couple of years and next year they might be paying for it. If we get back two of McGary, Robinson, and Stauskas then -- damn -- watch out. Five in a row and 8 out of 10 would be lovely, yes?
I don't know what happened to the color, lighting, etc. in the photo, but the Stauskas pic at the top of this post is how I think our maize should look. A strong, vivid color, but not as bright and obnoxious as the highlighter yellow or "sun" or whatever Adidas calls it.