Michigan 52, Nebraska 72

Submitted by Seth on January 18th, 2018 at 11:48 PM

STOP! You can choose to read a recap of Michigan’s 72-52 loss to Nebraska, OR you can do literally anything else. I’ll give you 30 seconds of a drone flying over a Nebraska cornfield to decide.

there is corn in it

Okay, now that all the people who make good life decisions are gone I can tell you that after 53 years Nebraska finally beat Michigan in basketball that one time.

What happened? The main thing was the Huskers’ constantly switching, handsy defense stymied every iteration of Michigan’s offense and led to an uncharacteristic boatload of turnovers—twelve overall, nine(!!!) in the first half. At one point UMHoops tweeted Michigan was coughing it up on 40 percent of their possessions.

Against an opponent that relies on transition and getting fouled at the rim to run an efficient offense, that alone should have been a death sentence, but some tip-back offensive rebounding kept the margin to just eleven at the break. That kind of first half after a 9:12 p.m. tip would make a reasonable person put the bag labeled “Dead Dove Do Not Eat” back in the fridge and go to bed. But Michigan came back from ten just a few nights ago, and from four a couple nights before that, and down seven a few nights before that, and…and…and man we’ve had a lot of basketball.

You can try to find a reason MAAR went 3/11 from the field, why the team went 4/18 from three despite nearly all of them being good looks, why Nebraska’s normally crummy shooters were getting makes off bad shots, why Livers let Isaiah Roby walk away with a 93 eFG%, or why Nebraska fans chose to chant “Wagner” of all things. Or you can chalk it up to a road game near the end of a compact, vicious part of the schedule when nothing could go right (except doubling up on them in the OREB battle) and move on.

Michigan’s coming off a ten-point win in Breslin, a big comeback victory versus Maryland, and a classic versus Purdue. Their tourney bid is secure barring a collapse. They get Rutgers on Sunday, and every opponent on the rest of the schedule will be practicing a ton of switching this week. They’ll probably be alright.






January 19th, 2018 at 12:17 AM ^

Team clearly was not ready to play a basketball game tonight and Nebraska was. I have every confidence that Michigan will play much better against them in the B1G tourney. I am concerned about next season and the center position though. I think Teske has done well in his role this season but he has limitations that hinder us offensively. I would love to see Davis blossom some down the stretch this season to get him ready for next year when he will be needed.


January 19th, 2018 at 7:07 AM ^

I don't expect the fans to understand the pivotal role of the PG but I do expect coaches at this level to have a clue. I saw the score...looked at the box score...saw Brooks only played five minutes...thought "You got what you deserve". All the infatuation in the world with Simpson does not make him the better player for this position. 

Otherwise, this team needs an alternate offense to the two-man ball screen. There's a really nice 1-2-2 set that would work very well for a team with their skill-set. They might also do well to learn how to play that "junk" 1-3-1 defense.

The schedule has been murders row for the last couple weeks. It's a good bunch of kids...hope the coaches don't fail them here.



January 19th, 2018 at 11:12 AM ^

You were talking offense and then used defensive set formations. You then say you hope John Beilein of all coaches doesn't fail the team? Sorry. That is ridiculous. This is not Drevno and the O-line.

The team plays better defense with Simpson on the court vs. Brooks. Simpson provides better penetration capabilities vs. Brooks. Throw in Brooks' outside shot was not delivering at a high enough level to offset his deficencies vs. Simpson and there is no question why one is now starting over the other.


January 19th, 2018 at 12:34 PM ^

Really...and I stated "defense". There are plenty of questions if you know what to ask. Your points are nothing more than a regurgitation of raw stats. I do not get to see them play very much but I know what I have seen. And Beilein has plenty of faults to  his approaches...he is too much one size fits all for my liking. 

Otherwise, we are all informed by our own experiences...and some of us actually have some experiences...and even then can disagree about things ;)


January 19th, 2018 at 1:12 PM ^

No coach is perfect, I hope we can agree on that.

My comments were not based on stats, they are based on having watched every televised game this year as well as a long string of Beilein coached years. I also watch them recorded so I can rewind when things stick out to me.

My personal opinion is the team currently functions better on both ends of the court with Simpson in vs. Brooks. 

I have no idea what or where you coach, but I wouldn't be so quick to assume other people on this board don't have equal if not more experience they are basing their opinions on. One of the many virutes of a blog about Michigan sports.


January 19th, 2018 at 11:26 AM ^

In the past 10 games (7 of which are against legit teams) Simpson has 50 assists against 12 turnovers. That's a 5:1.2 ratio. That's pretty darn good distribution for a college PG.

It would rank him first in assits per turnovers out of the top 50 assist leaders in the NCAA and his overall assits per game during that time would rank him tied for 68th in the country in assists per game. 

I agree Simpson needs to learn to drive and dish better. Currently his penetration results only in attempts at the rim (yes, phrasing), but I think he will develop that area of his game as he continues to gain experience. 

DeJulius may very well come in and win the job next year, but it is not going to be because Simpson is not good at delivering the rock to his teammates. 


January 19th, 2018 at 2:18 PM ^

in his last three games against very good teams, Z had 15 assists (5 each game) and only one TO.  ONE!  In three games!

He's been really good lately.  I'm confident this was more of a blip than anything to worry about. He also only played 21 minutes.  I don't think we stuck with him long enough.  He got off to a rough start against Illinois and then finished well.  We tried to get a spark from Simmons, who admittedly did give us a spark late in the first half of Maryland, but it didn't work.

And I understand bringing in Poole for threes in the second half but I don't like sitting Z there.  I'd rather we sit MAAR there.  Z has been really good at creating shots (he was almost single-handedly responsible for all the open threes against Maryland in the second half) and thought we should have stuck with him longer.

L'Carpetron Do…

January 19th, 2018 at 10:04 AM ^

This is Michigan's second definitive loss this year, the other was UNC (and I think if they played now it would be a different game)/  I didn't see the LSU game but it was close, they def should've beaten Ohio State and if they could've made a bucket down the stretch would've beaten Purdue.  

If this team is on its game, they can run with anybody. When they're not, you get what happened last night. But Michigan has certainly missed a lot of opportunities this year to put some games away, there's no disputing that.


January 19th, 2018 at 12:32 AM ^

We were due for the once or twice a year everyone goes cold at once, lid over the basket game. It's going to happen when you're a perimeter based team. Just glad it happened against a team with a pulse instead of an RPI anchor. Bummer we lost but this doesn't impact my season outlook at all.


January 19th, 2018 at 1:01 AM ^

in a semi-hostile environment to a team that had a chip on its shoulder after winning two massive games and playing a third game in 5 nights after an arduous schedule. It sucked, but I never thought this was a team that was going to win out. It's still a young team without a consistent, reliable point guard in an offense that runs significantly better with one of those. I'll live, the team will rebound, it's not the end of the world. 


January 19th, 2018 at 1:13 AM ^

I predicted an L here tonite. Also thought Mo would struggle against an athletic defender. Neb is a weird bad match up. Just a blip. Just win the games were supposed to going forward and all will be good.


January 19th, 2018 at 3:26 AM ^

Put a 4 on Wagner and he can't do anything on offense and can't guard the guy on defense. Looks like he's been figured out and does not bode well for the rest of the season.

2 shit games in a row, can we be good again please?


January 19th, 2018 at 3:19 PM ^

It was not team defense, it was Roby, but any decently sized decently athletic 4 will do. Mo had 1 shot in the first half and it was his new horrific dirk impression that he needs to get rid of, he couldn't do anything against him and I see no reason why any other team couldn't go small and do the same.


January 19th, 2018 at 7:30 AM ^

I mean if you really want to looks at only one game...

if you're an NBA scout and you watch "that junk" Wagner brought vs MSU, you put him in your top 5.

grumble...grumble... sample size...

it seems like 95% of draft prospects have at least 1 off night where they disappear. the other 5% are the freaks who have been destined for the NBA for years.


January 19th, 2018 at 3:30 PM ^

Wagner just seems like a euro/college/poor mans version of an nba player. He's not quite tall, big, or athletic enough for the NBA. He's a poor man's porzingis or markanen. To me he's one of those four year college studs who are great in college but not right for the pros.

Goggles Paisano

January 19th, 2018 at 5:19 AM ^

Just two nights ago, there were several top 25 teams losing to unranked teams.  A lot of parity in college hoops.   This was just a clunker and that happens during basketball season.  I didn't have a good feeling about this one given the high emotional games they just played over the last week or so and going on the road for a late night game.  On to the next one where we will likely see a much better performance.  


January 19th, 2018 at 6:14 AM ^

The beauty of college basketball, you can have a shit game and still win it all. our players legs looked tired which significantly effects a shot, which we shot like crap. They had small bouts of energy but couldn't sustain it, kudos to Nebraska for taking the punches and punching right back. So no big worries, onto the next


January 19th, 2018 at 6:28 AM ^

injury or just beat tired. Was that 5 games in 12 Days? I don’t recall it ever scheduled that compact in the regular season. Was that the same across the B1G conference for January?


January 19th, 2018 at 10:44 AM ^

Barclay's has a contract with the ACC this year and then the A-10 the following three years. Basically, both arenas in NYC are locked up for tourney week. If Delaney wanted to have the tourney in NYC, he should have jumped on Barclays earlier and tried to beat the ACC to the punch. 

This current arrangement creates the kind of schedule loss UM had last night (for college players, that game was the equivalent of an NBA home-road back-to-back), and is bad for the conference in general.