Championship Game Hype Video

Championship Game Hype Video

Submitted by Ace on April 2nd, 2018 at 7:48 PM

SPONSOR NOTE. HomeSure Lending is sponsoring our tourney coverage. If you need a home loan, you should probably get it from a guy whose Ted Valentine impression is just as thunderously sarcastic as yours. Matt will get you a good loan, fast. And call you for a charge while doing it. Unless it is actually a block.

ICYMI. The preview. The podcast. Block/Charge.

The time for words has passed. Thankfully, MGoFish's Stephen Osentoski has provided a hype video.

Win The Game.

Michigan 58, Florida State 54, West Region Champions

Michigan 58, Florida State 54, West Region Champions

Submitted by Ace on March 25th, 2018 at 12:52 AM


Champions of the West. [Patrick Barron/MGoBlog]

Say it again, Dana Jacobson. Say it again and again, everyone.

Michigan is going to the Final Four. John Beilein, the true king of Ann Arbor, is one victory—against, of all teams, 11-seed Loyola—away from his second championship game in six years and an opportunity for the program's first national title since 1989.

The Wolverines got there in a most un-Beilein way. This was not Thursday, when they rained fire on Texas A&M. This is what many fans feared Thursday would look like, as a very large, athletic Florida State squad held Michigan well under a point per possession. Michigan, meanwhile, couldn't hit a three-pointer, going an appalling 4-for-22 from beyond the arc. Any past Beilein team would've lost this game.

But not this one. For as good as FSU's defense played, Michigan's was a cut above. The Seminoles had one more field goal (16) than turnovers committed (15). They kept a transition-reliant FSU scoreless on fast breaks; the Wolverines scored 12 in transition because of live-ball turnovers. That, above all, made the difference in a game featuring great halfcourt defense and ugly shooting.

"I've never seen a team work so hard and be so connected on both ends of the floor, even when things do not go right on the offensive end," said Beilein. "They were exceptional on defense. We had that string of plays where Moe was wide open, Charles is wide open, Duncan was wide open, and they didn't go down and sulk at the other end. They ended up just playing better defense so that we could win the game."


Charles Matthews surprised a lot of people tonight. [Barron]

Michigan's heroes weren't the ones you would've expected a month or two ago. Charles Matthews scored M's first points on an and-one dunk, flashed a rare smile, and proceeded to carry the offense through some truly ugly stretches. Using strong drives, sharp pivots, and tough finishes, Matthews finished with a game-high 17 points, eight rebounds, two blocks, a steal, and only one turnover.

"It was special," he said. "Last year all I used to hear in practice was turnover Matthews, turnover Matthews. And go see 212, that's when I have to run up to the top of the bleachers. But I stayed with it. Coach stayed on me. He continued to believe in me, and that continued to help my confidence grow. My teammates believe in me, and I believe in them. So it's just been a special feeling."

Zavier Simpson set the tone early, as well, when he ripped the ball away from FSU's Terance Mann as a parent would take a toy from an unruly child. While the stat line is packed—nine points on 4/8 shooting, three boards, five assists, one turnover, three steals—it doesn't do justice to Simpson's masterful control over the game. On a normal Michigan shooting night, Simpson threatens double-digit assists. Meanwhile, he hit a couple huge shots late and played his usual superlative defense. The two Seminole point guards, Trent Forrest and CJ Walker, combined to go 1-for-9 from the field with five turnovers.

Nobody else, though, could find any consistency on offense. Moe Wagner had an especially brutal outing, failing to hit a field goal in the first half before finishing with 11 points on 15 shot equivalents. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman needed ten shot equivalents to net his nine points. Duncan Robinson didn't make his first three-pointer until 2:25 remained, when his corner triple gave the Wolverines a seemingly insurmountable ten-point lead.

Florida State nearly surmounted it. Free throws, that familiar bugaboo, nearly cost Michigan dearly this time, as Simpson and MAAR went on a 2-for-5 stretch that included missing the front end of two one-and-ones to allow FSU to pull within a single possession twice. After Phil Cofer's putback got the 'Noles cut the margin to two, however, Robinson calmly sunk two free throws. PJ Savoy missed a wild, contested three-pointer with 13 seconds to play, Robinson grabbed the rebound, and for reasons unbeknownst to everyone other than Leonard Hamilton, Robinson was allowed to dribble out the clock.

"We knew they were going to make a run," said Abdur-Rahkman. "We each had to weather the storm and get stops when we needed it. And I think that's what we did."

Michigan is going to the Final Four—say it again—because they got stops. What a team. What a coaching staff. What a world.

[Hit THE JUMP for more photos and the box score.]

Michigan 99, Texas A&M 72

Michigan 99, Texas A&M 72

Submitted by Ace on March 22nd, 2018 at 11:19 PM


when the walk-on hits [photo courtesy Sam Mousigian/Michigan Daily]

We've seen this game before. A freshman Nik Stauskas shooting Florida out of the gym from the same spot; Texas becoming so overwhelmed the Longhorn Network tweeted a shruggie. Enter this into the canon:

THE MODERATOR: Coach, an opening statement?

BILLY KENNEDY: Felt like we ran into a buzz saw.

Michigan played a near-perfect first half before settling into remarkably productive cruise control in the second. They scored 99 points, the most Texas A&M has allowed this season, on an astonishing 1.38 points per possession. They shot 64% on twos, 58% on threes, and 88% from the line. Eight different players made a three-pointer. One of them was CJ Baird, who started the season as a student manager.

"It was kind of hard to see," said A&M's Admon Gilder. "Because I was just wondering when they were going to miss."

After both underperformed last weekend, Moe Wagner and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman led the way. Wagner was the star of the first half, pouring in 14 of his 21 while seemingly gaining confidence with every shot, the most spectacular a running left-handed bank after his patented behind-the-back dribble. Abdur-Rahkman scored 16 of his 24 in the second half, teaming with Charles Matthews (18 points, 13 in the second half) to drop the hammer on an A&M squad trying to cover a 20-point deficit with post-ups. Two more Wolverines, Zavier Simpson and Duncan Robinson, finished in double figures.

"We knew that we could pick and choose our spots on offense," said Abdur-Rahkman. "And we didn't shoot too well in Wichita, but we knew that we were confident coming into the game that we could hit get our shots off. We just picked and chose our shots, and we took them."


Abdur-Rahkman led the team with 24 points and 7 assists. [Mousigian]

Meanwhile, Simpson made life miserable for self-proclaimed "unstoppable" Aggies point guard TJ Starks, who made the freshman mistake of giving Michigan's best defender extra motivation. Starks, who'd averaged 19.6 points in his last three games, finished with five on 2-for-11 shooting, a lone assist, and five turnovers. Simpson equaled his mark's point total with a career-high five steals in the first half and added one more in the second for good measure. The Aggies mustered only 28 points on 32 first-half field-goal attempts; Michigan had little issue letting them work post mismatches in the second on the three-is-greater-than-two principle.

Last weekend's Wolverines were just good enough to get through last weekend. Tonight's Wolverines were great enough to beat any team on any day. It didn't take long for them to get into a groove and ooze confidence; Wagner talking trash after an in-your-eye three, Matthews flashing a rare smile after a tough bucket, Simpson eyeing his man with pure disdain after a particularly obvious flop, the whole team running back on defense as Abdur-Rahkman let loose a three-pointer. (Yes, it went in.)

It reached the absurd in the late going. Abdur-Rahkman went behind the back on a fast break pass to Wagner for an emphatic dunk. Austin Davis threw down an alley-oop. Baird sent the bench into hysterics with his three-pointer.

The swagger is carrying over.

"I think we're a very confident team, and I think that's all that matters," said Wagner. "We've been playing within ourselves all year and not looking at the opponent too much. Looking at the game plan, trying to execute that, and I think we've been believing all year we can beat anyone if we play our best basketball. So, Yep."

Michigan will face the winner of tonight's Florida State-Gonzaga matchup on Saturday. No matter which team advances, the Wolverines will enter the game knowing they can—and should—win. Given how they've played over the last month or so, they're not wrong.

[Hit THE JUMP for the box score and more photos.]

HUG PROTOCOL

HUG PROTOCOL

Submitted by Brian on March 19th, 2018 at 12:30 PM

3/15/2018 – Michigan 61, Montana 47 – 29-7, Round of 32
3/17/2018 – Michigan 64, Houston 63 – 30-7, Sweet 16

It's a list I don't even have to keep, because it is so narrow. A list gets written down. When you can count the number of persons given TOP SECRET access to the HUG PROTOCOL on your hands—and you could probably have had a finger lopped off in a bag accident and still gotten by—it's not really a list. It's an iron-clad fact of life. The hug protocol is buried deep behind passcodes and false leads and a butler who keeps the secret in a tattoo behind his ear.

So here are the persons that I have engaged in uncompuncted, mutually enthusiastic, joyous hug activities with before this weekend:

  • my parents
  • my brother
  • my wife
  • my son
  • a guy who I can confidently state was from the Indian subcontinent and think was probably Pakistani in the King's Head, a bar in Galway, Ireland, when Robbie Keane scores against Germany during the 2002 World Cup; our hug occurs largely because everyone else in the bar was Irish and we were the dudes left over
  • Everyone within 10 feet of me when Landon Donovan scored against Algeria 

I spent the 1998 Rose Bowl amongst very wrong people. When Trey Burke hit The Shot 1.0 there was still a lot of work to do; fist-pumping and guttural Viking cries were the order of the day. Jumping up and down in a pile, not so much. That shot just swung Michigan from certain defeat to potential defeat. Burke, of course, made damn sure his moment wasn't wasted. That still took some time.

It's a different thing, being rescued half-way.

Jordan Poole (and Isaiah Livers and Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman) rescued Michigan all the way, draining the very last tenth of a second off the clock in doing so. And, man, 100% is an entirely different feeling than 95%. Ask a Houston fan today, or yourself a few months ago during the Maryland game when Isaiah Livers dropped a dime on MAAR in an eerily similar situation. MAAR got to the line, swinging Michigan's win probability from LOL NOPE to PRETTY DANG LIKELY. And the main thing to feel was a restricted, conditional hope; after the android version of MAAR nailed both free throws the new feeling was relief.

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Things that would make a win probability chart fold in on itself. My first reaction when I saw the thing the NIT's quarters did…

winprob

…to the Louisville-Northern Kentucky game on Kenpom was "this is the most accurate chart." If your sports life doesn't feel like that I don't know you. 95, 96, 97… these are not 100. 100 is 100, and only 100 is 100.

4 to 100 in 3.6 seconds is when the hug protocol is broken out and the room becomes a single hopping organism for a solid 20 seconds. At the same time, Poole is displaying his lateral agility by temporarily escaping the on-court pile. The walk-ons track him down, because walk-ons are crafty by necessity, and then you get the sports picture.

Afterwards, twitter is checked and re-checked. Poole talks to the media, and then John Beilein says Poole has an "overdose of swag."

26007287727_3c90877dd7_z (1)

[JD Scott]

Folks congratulate a man who just won an Oscar for finally doing something with his life. John Beilein ups his water-fight ante with poncho and goggles.

(It is only a matter of time before he invades the locker room in a firefighting mech.) Over the next 36 hours, Michigan's entire half of the bracket commits seppuku. It's all in front of them, and they didn't even play particularly well.

Take a breath. Enjoy it for what it is, right now. Down big to UCLA this looked like an NIT outfit, and now they're here. Sun yourself. Bask, until you have reached your swag limit, and then bask just a little more. Weekends like this stand on their own.

26007288307_be842c39ec_z

[JD Scott]

BULLETS

The other side. Devin Davis feels horrible today despite exceeding his season average on free throws, because the makes and misses came in the worst possible order. Wagner gave him a thought…

…and it didn't help much.

Maybe we can get together later and talk about the funniest Tom Crean transfers who made the tournament while Indiana did not. If that doesn't cheer you up, nothing will.

THE DOOR OPENS. You may be aware of this already, but: Michigan is the highest seed remaining on their half of the bracket after the ignominious demises of Xavier, North Carolina, Virginia, Cincinnati, and Tennessee.

This doesn't mean you should be disappointed if Michigan isn't in the national title game. Everyone is good at this point, and there are no home games unless you're Kansas. A&M over UNC was most welcome but Kenpom gives M a 62% chance against the Aggies—it is anything but a slam dunk to get to the Final Four.

Still… coulda, coulda been worse. #7 Gonzaga and #16 Kentucky are the top teams Michigan can face on the way to the title game. All those teams above are gonzo, and there's a decent chance Michigan beats A&M and gets a team (Florida State) that's currently one slot behind Penn State in Kenpom.

Going to have to do better, though. Michigan is going to run into a team that can score adequately on them despite their excellent defense, and at that point they're going to have to get back to Big Ten Tournament-level offense or they're going to crash out. Michigan's weekend was ugly, ugly stuff. More analysis later. I tried to start writing analysis and, nope, let's hold off on that for a second here.

An excellently timed and cromulent article. The New York Times on Michigan's short shorts:

“The long shorts are out of date,” the sophomore Ibi Watson said. “If they can touch your knees, they’re way too long.”

It is said that fashion is cyclical. The irony is that the same program that bucked the trend by concealing its legs in the 1990s is helping bring skin back in now.

In fact, players on Michigan, seeded third in the West region and set to play Montana in the first round of the N.C.A.A. tournament on Thursday night, lamented that they can’t get find shorts that are quite revealing enough.

So they roll their shorts at the waistband. Once. Twice.

“Three rolls is the max,” Watson said. “If you go four, it’s too much.”

He added, “I think they should just start making shorter shorts.”

Jalen Rose's furious letter to the editor has not yet been published.

I watched them all, and this is the best one. All songs have been put over the buzzer-beater, and I like this one best.

YMMV.

Another angle. Via Alejandro Zuniga and reddit:

Michigan Hockey Earns Two-Seed, Draws Northeastern In First Round

Michigan Hockey Earns Two-Seed, Draws Northeastern In First Round

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on March 19th, 2018 at 10:15 AM

40574722652_7e382a878a_z

Michigan will get to do this 719 miles from home [Bill Rapai]

The pundits preached patience before the season, but what was supposed to take a few seasons took just one: Mel Pearson and his staff have guided Michigan to an NCAA tournament berth in their first season behind the bench. The appearance will be Michigan’s second in the last six seasons.

Michigan drew the two-seed in the Northeast Regional and will face three-seed Northeastern on Saturday, March 24th at 4:30 PM in Worchester, MA. You can catch it live on ESPNews

Northeastern is Pairwise’s highest-ranked three-seed. Northeastern finished the season with 23 wins, including a relatively impressive (based on the rest of the bodybags on their schedule) home-and-home sweep of Boston University in November, a one-off win at Boston College in December, and wins over both schools in February’s Beanpot tournament. They also took Pairiwse no. 7 Providence to overtime in a home-and-home series in January and again in the Hockey East semis.

Northeastern’s powered by an explosive first line, good goaltending, and a high dose of Michigan’s kryptonite. Their top line of Nolan Stevens, Adam Gaudette, and Dylan Sikura put up 41, 59, and 52 points, respectively. Gaudette and Sikura are also both Hobey Baker top-ten finalists. Goaltender Cayden Primeau has a .932 SV%, including a stellar .936 at even strength and .906 when down a man. Northeastern also features the nation’s third-best power play at 27.2%, which is the highest % power play in the tournament fold and the absolute last thing you want to see if you wear a block-M sweater.

Facing Northeastern in the Northeast Regional is a fairly heavy-handed hint at Michigan’s other opponent: geography. Northeastern’s campus is a brisk 52-minute drive from the DCU Center. Should Michigan advance, they would face either one-seed Cornell (Pairwise #3) or four-seed Boston University (Pairwise #15) on Sunday. Boston University’s campus is an even closer drive than Northeastern’s (by two minutes), and they’ve recently found a way to get all their talent on the same page, surging to a Hockey East title by way of victories over Boston College and eventual two-seed Providence. Cornell may have more overall wins, but considering location, top-end talent, recent results, and the all-important PP%, Michigan might rather face Cornell for a shot at the Frozen Four.

Michigan 75, Purdue 66, Big Ten Tournament Champs

Michigan 75, Purdue 66, Big Ten Tournament Champs

Submitted by Ace on March 4th, 2018 at 7:44 PM

BIG NASTY. [Marc-Gregor Campredon]

Four wins. Four days. A trophy.

Old hat.

For the second straight year, Michigan pulled off the improbable and ran through the best the Big Ten had to offer for a conference tournament championship. They sealed it this evening by running away from Purdue, which never held a lead after the game's opening three minutes. The big, bad Boilermakers could only stay at arm's length, then the Wolverines laid the hammer down in an incredible second half only marred by some late free-throw trouble that never put the outcome in serious doubt.

Just about everything John Beilein touched turned to gold; he outdueled Purdue's Matt Painter in what's been the Big Ten's most intricately fascinating coaching matchup the last two years. Painter chose to hedge hard against the ballhandler on high screens in the first half; while Michigan went 3-for-11 on mostly wide-open threes, they drew Purdue's towering big men far from the hoop—the Wolverines went 13-for-19 inside the arc and didn't have a shot blocked or commit a turnover.

Much of that was due to the stellar play of Jon Teske, who scored 12 of his 14 points in the first-half minutes after Beilein gave Wagner the usual break following his first foul. Teske was a force on both ends and Beilein let him ride for 12 first-half minutes. Teske rewarded his coach's faith with dunks off the pick-and-roll, increasingly lengthy midrange shots off the pick-and-pop, a thunderous block, and a stellar late defensive posseession on an otherwise dominant Isaac Haas, who picked up a cheap frustration foul in response.

"I really have no words to explain," said Teske.


Big lights. Little dude. Huge buckets. [Campredon]

Zavier Simpson was masterful on both ends as well. His chemistry with Teske created multiple open baskets. He got the hoop with regularity and finished. When Purdue overplayed him on screens, he generated wide open looks for Michigan's shooters. He played lockdown defense on Purdue's best perimeter player, Carsen Edwards, who went only 3-for-9 in the first half.

"He's a pit bull," said Beilein. "We have a picture of a big, mean pit bull in our locker room for every game. And he is that guy. He's one that loves to play defense."

"Muhammad and I just wanted to come out and set the tone," said Simpson. "We wanted to play great defense from the start so our energy could be contagious. And as you've seen, others followed."

While the Wovlerines went into the break up 38-33, however, it felt like they'd missed a golden opportunity to blow the game open. The announcers, and most everyone else, felt a tight finish coming.

That did not happen. Painter chose not to continue playing with fire on screens, switching them to prevent open looks instead of sticking with the aggressive hedging approach. After a few forced shots over Haas, Simpson and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman ruthlessly attacked the basket, combining for 15 second-half points and five assists.

"It takes a long time to sort of build up the substance to your team that can persevere and just won't give in," said Beilein. "They won't give in to fatigue. They won't give in to momentum changes. They just stick in there."

"You always learn something when you play them," said Painter. "And you fix something. As a coach you think you've got them figured out, you don't have them figured out."


Wagner was all smiles in the second half. [Campredon]

Moe Wagner, with his mother watching from the stands, removed any doubt of the outcome. His 4-for-5 second-half performance featured a Dirk-like turnaround fallaway three as the shot clock expired, a blow-by layup, and another triple right in the grill of Matt Haarms. He did more than just score; he led the break after a steal then hit a trailing MAAR for a big three, and he battled hard on the boards, helping M limit Purdue to three offensive rebounds after they'd pulled down seven in the first half.

"Those guards are good but not everybody has a guy like Wagner that can stick 3s, drive the ball, and play with passion," said Painter.

Then Duncan Robinson got a thunderblock on Carsen Edwards and Zavier Simpson slipped a beautiful pass to Teske for a posterizing dunk on Haas, and the party was on. Michigan stretched the lead as far as 18 before a too-little, too-late Purdue run got them as close as seven while the Wolverines scuffled at the charity stripe. That's a concern for later.

For now, Michigan is once again on a tear heading into the NCAA Tournament, and today's championship may well have locked up a three-seed. John Beilein is a wizard.


Back-to-back champs. [Campredon]

[Hit THE JUMP for more photos and the box score.]

Michigan 75, Michigan State 64

Michigan 75, Michigan State 64

Submitted by Ace on March 3rd, 2018 at 6:03 PM


MOOD. [Marc-Gregor Campredon]

Everything's coming up Michigan.

After an ugly first half, the Wolverines took it to Michigan State to secure a season sweep and a shot at their second consecutive Big Ten Tournament title. In addition to being a delectable and important victory over a chief rival, Michigan once again showed how far they've come this season.

Today's hero lost his starting job after four games this season and didn't regain it until January. Zavier Simpson, Bench Player, feels like forever go. He played a brilliant game on both ends, scoring 15 points on 4/8 shooting, pulling down seven boards, handing out two assists, making life tough on Cassius Winston, and even bolstering M's post defense when switched onto MSU's big men. He routinely broke down the Spartan defense with blow-bys of Winston (and even defensive ace Tum Tum Nairn). Then he iced the game at the line while showing no signs of his season-long free-throw struggles.

"It was a sweet sight to see Zavier's shots just go right through the middle," said John Beilein. "Of his foul shots the last couple of days, maybe 8-for-10 or 10-for-12, shooting it right down the middle".

Critically, Simpson did a lot of his best work in the first half as the rest of the team scuffled on offense. Moe Wagner went scoreless on seven shots in 12 first-half minutes and M was a woeful 4-for-18 from beyond the arc; Simpson was the only Wolverine to hit more than two shots in the opening stanza. Michigan stayed close with defense, holding the Spartans to 11-for-31 shooting themselves, but Wagner's wonky shot and MSU's strong offensive rebounding portended bad things. State held a three-point lead heading into the tunnel.


Not even Tum Tum could check Z. [Campredon]

Then it all clicked. Beilein ran much of the offense through Wagner to open the second half, and he responded with five points in five minutes. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman got going with an early three. Charles Matthews shocked the Spartan defense (and others) by taking Miles Bridges left off the dribble for an uncontested dunk. MAAR, Duncan Robinson, and Wagner drilled three straight triples, and suddenly Michigan was up six.

"I told him, this is my great motivation at halftime, hey, Moe, are you going to make a shot? Because right now you're stinking the place up," said Beilein. "Just make one shot. We played with each other like that. He just smiled: Yes, Coach, I can do that."

Michigan State could only inch closer; they didn't get the margin lower than five points in the game's final seven minutes. According to KenPom, Michigan delivered the third-best defensive performance against MSU this season. Though offensive rebounds ruined some of Michigan's better defensive possessions in the first half, they still managed to hold State below a point per possession in each half. The Wolverines now rank sixth(!!!) nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency. I'll give you a moment to reassemble your jaw.

They did this by, as usual, forcing tough shots in the paint while running shooters off the line. MSU made only 7 of 25 threes, and several attempts were desperation chucks in the final minutes. Bullying towards the basket and pulling up from midrange wasn't much more effective; the Spartans made 44.7% of their twos, ten percentage points below their season average.


No easy buckets. [Campredon]

Now, for the second straight year, Michigan has a chance to win their fourth game in four days to hang another banner. They've probably locked up a four-seed in the NCAA Tournament and another win would give them an outside shot at a three-seed. It's been a little less dramatic this year; it was no easier to see coming a couple months ago. A swaggering band of Wolverines will face the winner of PSU/Purdue tomorrow afternoon. I wouldn't want to be the team to try to stop this run.

Just ask Michigan State. They're 0-2 against Michigan and 29-2 against everyone else.

[Hit THE JUMP for more photos and the box score.]

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Notre Dame

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Notre Dame

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on February 20th, 2018 at 4:00 PM

38542875510_010ee5a149_z

[James Coller]

Friday, February 16, 2018

#1 Notre Dame 2, #18 Michigan 4

1st period

WINBORG GOAL

ND 0 UM 1 EV 12:34 Assists: Hughes & Cecconi

Hughes carries the puck into the zone and starts down the wing long enough to draw a defender, Gilbert, toward him. Gilbert is wise not to step up and into Hughes because Raabe is coming down the wing and, as far as timing is concerned, in excellent position to receive a drop pass.

Hughes waits until Gilbert gets close before making his move. He sees that Gilbert’s moving more or less in a straight line toward the boards, so he cuts up toward the blue line and moves laterally across it.

m nd feb fri 1-1

Adam Winborg is the Michigan skater in the blue box below. Dawson Cook is the Notre Dame skater in the blue box below. Quinn Hughes is the puck carrier in the screen cap below. Two of the people in said screen cap have just noticed that Winborg is headed for the front of the net. One of them has the puck and is in good position to shoot, and the other has to shift his weight and chase Winborg.

m nd feb fri 1-2

Winborg keeps his blade on the ice and Hughes’ shot hits it and goes airborne. The puck goes in over Morris’ shoulder in one of the only ways he can be beaten.

m nd feb fri 1-3

[After THE JUMP: good defense creates offense, though crazy accuracy and puck luck helps, too]

Michigan 82, Michigan State 72

Michigan 82, Michigan State 72

Submitted by Ace on January 13th, 2018 at 3:33 PM

I'm going to try to write through the very real tears streaming down my face. I'm also cackling with glee.

I know Brian already posted it. Moe Wagner giving Nick Ward a crippling case of the jelly-ankles cannot be posted enough.

Teddy Valentine and Co. may have done their best to muck up an classic rivalry row, but between the endless whistles (51 combined fouls!) was some fantastic basketball. Michigan and Michigan State played a back-and-forth affair with neither team able to break the other. The lead changed hands 13 times and was knotted up 11 more; the margin didn't crack double digits either way until a Wagner free throw with 1:10 to go.

Wagner's ankle may not be at full health, but you'd never know it based on today's performance. Despite only playing 27 minutes before fouling out in the game's waning moments, he poured in a career-high 27 points, roasting whichever Spartan big man tried to defend him with a dizzying array of off-the-dribble moves for layups and pops out to the perimeter for three-point bombs.

Ward couldn't keep up, nor could he come close to matching Wagner's impact on offense, scoring just four points in 14 minutes. Jaren Jackson Jr. (and a host of others on both sides) also battled serious foul trouble, and MSU's vaunted defense could be driven on as a result. The Wolverines nearly matched the Spartans in points in the paint, 32-34, and more than made up that ground by hitting three more three-pointers. Remarkably, they also outrebounded MSU on the offensive end 11 to 8.

Wagner had plenty of help, too. Zavier Simpson dominated his matchup with fellow sophomore point guard Cassius Winston, outscoring him 16-to-11, dishing out five assists to Winston's two, and recording zero turnovers against his counterpart's four. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Charles Matthews made up for poor performances from the field by combining to make 11-of-13 free throws. Isaiah Livers, who got his first career start, added six points in 25 energetic minutes. The man he replaced, Duncan Robinson, sunk his only triple from the corner and fought hard against brutally tough matchups.

Most importantly, the whole team gave a defensive performance that, given the context, is among the best single-game efforts in Beilein's tenure. Little came easy for the Spartans, who couldn't get anything going on the perimeter, making 3-of-12 threes, and instead had to rely on brute force. Michigan held up remarkably well against MSU's front line and forced 18 turnovers with an aggressive, varied approach.

In fact, if Michigan had made a few more layups in the first half or more free throws down the stretch, this could've been a downright comfortable win. Holding the Spartans at bay for a double-digit win will more than suffice, however.

By the end, Jordan Poole wanted to know where all the Spartans had gone.

The Stauskas is strong with this team.

[Hit THE JUMP for the box score.]

Tuesday Presser 10-11-16: Larry Prout Jr.

Tuesday Presser 10-11-16: Larry Prout Jr.

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 12th, 2016 at 11:02 AM

IMG_2035

[Isaiah Hole/247 Sports]

Last night, Michigan’s football team gained a member. FIfteen-year-old Larry Prout Jr. of Howell signed his NLI in front of a packed Schembechler Hall, as his family, friends, the media, and members of the team crowded into the Towsley Museum for a press conference in his honor. Prout was connected with the football program through Team IMPACT, and he developed a bond with John O’Korn and De’Veon Smith over the summer. I can’t do Prout’s story the justice that it deserves; read on to learn about his journey in his own words.

Seth Rosenzweig, Team IMPACT’s Executive Director

“Thank you so much, and thank you for having us. Good evening. I’m very excited to be here as the executive director of Team IMPACT. Team IMPACT, for those who don’t know, is a national social non-profit that focuses on improving the quality of life of children who are facing life-limiting and chronic diseases, and we do this through the power of team by them being officially drafted, like Larry will today, by collegiate athletic teams.

“It’s a really, really big privilege to be here. The program not only has great impact on the kids and their families but also on the college athletes, coaches, and the entire community. It’s really a privilege to do this work. We’ve been around for five years and have matched over 1,000 kids in 46 states [with] 430 universities; 30,000 collegiate athletes have been a part of this, and we’re looking to really grow in scale over the next several years.

“Tonight, obviously, is really not about Team IMPACT, it’s about Larry, and we’re really excited for you to be a part of Team IMPACT as well as the University. I did find a great quote from Coach…I hope it’s from you. You said something like this: ‘I love being part of something that is working toward a greater goal, and there’s no more satisfaction in life than achieving these goals as a team.’ I feel like that really accentuates what this partnership is, and without further adieu I’ll turn it over to Coach Harbaugh.”

[After THE JUMP: Jim Harbaugh and Larry Prout Jr.]