Michigan 81, Nebraska 68

Submitted by Ace on January 23rd, 2016 at 4:32 PM

Game ... blouses

Derrick Walton capped the victory in appropriate fashion, drilling a long three as the shot clock expired on Michigan's final possession.

After a poor shooting night nearly cost the Wolverines what should've been an easy win over Minnesota, a 10/21 performance from beyond the arc keyed a hard-fought road triumph over a hot Nebraska squad. In a game of runs, Michigan's significant advantage in outside shooting—especially to open each half—ultimately made the difference, even when they tried to hand that edge right back with ill-advised turnovers.

Walton had arguably his best game of the season running the offense with Caris LeVert still sidelined, posting a 19-12-6 line and making 4/6 three-pointers. His ability to dart into the lane and work off the high screen opened up opportunities for Michigan's two other leading scorers on the day; Mark Donnal (14 points, 4/8 FG) benefited when Walton looked to the paint, while Duncan Robinson (21, 6/12) found more room than usual on the perimeter, especially in transition.

Walton had a hand in eight of Michigan's first 12 points as they ran out to an early eight-point lead, then the Huskers clawed their way back, taking advantage of a defensive lapse by Walton to cut the halftime lead to three with a buzzer-beating triple by Glynn Watson. The second half played out in much the same fashion; M quickly pushed the lead up to 18 points, but turnovers and shoddy zone defense allowed Nebraska to get as close as two points with 3:11 left.

This time, however, Michigan closed the half strong. Walton knocked down a pair of free throws, then Muhammad-Ali Adbur-Rahkman found Robinson on a backcut with a beautiful no-look pass for an authoritative finish to get the lead back to six. Shavon Shields, who was hounded into a 4/11 shooting night by Zak Irvin, responded with a layup, but Michigan made a comeback impossible by subsequently knocking down eight straight free throws.

It certainly wasn't a pretty win. Michigan coughed up the rock 14 times, including several skip passes that didn't have a prayer of reaching their intended target; on the other end, the non-Irvin defenders had trouble keeping Nebraska's drivers in front of them, even while mostly playing zone. Road wins should never be discounted, however, and by the power of the three, Michigan emerged victorious in a difficult place to play.


Wolverine In Iowa 68

January 23rd, 2016 at 9:39 PM ^

Looks like Zak is fully recovered from his back surgery and is getting back to form.  Walton is emerging as a leader, Donnal and Robinson are progressing, the bench is coming together.

The team overall is improving.  Now Caris has to get healthy and merge back in.  We could all be peaking at the right time for the B1G tourney run.


January 24th, 2016 at 4:56 PM ^

he looked like he could be a leader, but Stauskas was the offensive leader and alpha dog that year.  Caris was early last year and Zak filled the role towards the end of last year.  Walton appears to be just now growing into that "I-wanna-be-the-guy" role this year.  It's been nice because it allows Zak to focus on defending the oppositions best forward while not needing to carry the offensive load.


January 24th, 2016 at 12:03 PM ^

didn't have the horses to get 'better'. They got better with experience obviously but you couldn't say that got better to the point that having Caris back would be icing on the cake. This year the team has done that; the team is trending up and if Caris did not come back I would still expect this team to make some noise come Tournament time. When Caris comes back it will be icing; if they can get a good rhythm going with him in the lineup, look out.

Wolverine Devotee

January 23rd, 2016 at 4:38 PM ^

Michigan has never lost to Nebraska since Nebraska joined the B1G. 6-0.

And the only B1G team to have a 2-0 record at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Would be the only perfect B1G team there but Maryland won there last year. 


Stringer Bell

January 23rd, 2016 at 5:36 PM ^

I'm not gonna get into this argument.  Wooderson up there said something false so I corrected him.  Record through first 3 years and style of coaching are the comparisons I made.  I didn't compare where the basketball team is in Beilein's 7th and 8th years to where the football team was under Rich Rod because that's a silly comparison to make.


January 23rd, 2016 at 6:24 PM ^

Rich Rod and Beilein are nothing alike as coaches.  Beilein is a down to earth guy who cares about his players and took a crap program to an elite level.  Rich Rod is a fake, Callipari of a coach in Football who cares nothing for his players and took a great football program and made it crap.  Bad comparison.  Admit it.


January 23rd, 2016 at 4:50 PM ^

Man, I hate the "uber alles" line. I go to read about a sports team, I have no desire to have positive Hitler references showing up coming from my side, even when they're sort of joking. 

Yeah, yeah, I know I'm not going to win this one. It just removes the fun from reading every time I see it. 


January 23rd, 2016 at 9:05 PM ^

The phrase predates WWII, yes. The reason Americans knows it is because of Nazis. As wikipedia points out, Nazis omitted the rest of the national anthem just to focus on the verse with that phrase. That's why it's famous. 

It's used here because it was a joke Brian made years ago, actually back when Hoke was popular. He and I had an e-mail exchange about it, and he knew my history was right. He said it was "a parody of sports' tendency to devolve into mindless nationalism." Fair enough, I just pointed out I find it unfunny. 

Beyong that, it's not that commonly used elsewhere. Google it - most references are to the Dead Kennedys, who used it as a Nazi reference. 


January 23rd, 2016 at 5:40 PM ^

Originally "Deutschland über alles" meant Germany over all the little principaities and dukedoms that made up 'Germany' before it was united under Bismarck and his wars"--if I remember my German history right, which I may not.  Having said this, you are right, it became very sinister.  

Gulo Gulo Luscus

January 23rd, 2016 at 7:58 PM ^

Definitely right. Had a roommate from Dortmund Germany for a year during Hoke era. I once referenced "uber alles" from this blog and he said not to say that around Germans. It is forbidden to sing the first stanza of the song that eventually became German national anthem, which include the words "Deutschland Uber Alles."


January 24th, 2016 at 1:54 AM ^

Right, and then Hitler corrupted it into meaning Germany over the rest of the world. Kinda like how emperor Hirohito in Japan corrupted the bushido code to turn their soldiers into suicidal, psychotic assholes.


January 23rd, 2016 at 4:43 PM ^

What a HUGE win on the road! I was really hoping we could get this one today. Next two games vs bottom tier Big Ten teams, and then a monster game vs Indiana if memory serves me correctly! 5-2 in conference and no LeVert. Believe in Beilein!


January 23rd, 2016 at 4:45 PM ^

Team is really starting to trend up right now. Still a lot of improvement to be made though, we go through some bad stretches at times. If this hits on all cylinders for 40 minutes... Look out.

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January 23rd, 2016 at 4:49 PM ^

So hard to win on the road, and every one counts. Looking at the remaining schedule, Michigan has a pretty good shot to win the following:

  • Rutgers
  • PSU
  • Minnesota
  • Northwestern

Michigan has 4 rough games at home, but if they can split, that'd be great:

  • Indiana
  • MSU
  • Purdue
  • Iowa

Michigan has three other games on the road.

  • OSU
  • Maryland
  • Wisconsin

If they can win one, they'd end up with 7 more wins, 4 more losses, for a Big 10 record of 12 - 6, and overall record of 22 - 9. Not too shabby. What say you? Too optimistic?

What especially bodes well is that we've done this without LeVert. Assuming he comes back in a week vs. PSU, he will add a lot, allowing Michigan to end up at 13 - 5. I don't think both Indiana or Iowa will lose 5 games in the remainder of the season. But if we end up at 13 - 5, we'll be seeded well in the Big 10 Tourney, likely ending up winning one, maybe two more games. That would give a pretty good seeding in the NCAA tourney.


January 24th, 2016 at 7:45 PM ^

it's this year.  No dominant teams whatsover. The number 1 team in kenpom has pyth win % less than 0.95 which is the lowest number 1 in the kenpom era (although I can't say whether that was the case at this point in a season).  In most years there are several team above that threshold and they end up being 1s.  

Doesn't look like there will be much difference between the 1s and 2s and maybe even 3s this year. Buckle up for a wild NCAA tournament. 



January 24th, 2016 at 7:04 PM ^

12-6 is the expectation according to Kenpom probabilities.  I even think 13-5 is an optimistic but entirely reasonable record to hope for if we can get 3/4 of those tough home games or 2/3 of those tough road games while taking care of business in the four should-win games.


January 23rd, 2016 at 5:00 PM ^

I feel happy but very fortunate for us to have won this game despite all the lazy passes in the second half. It's a miracle more of those weren't picked off. But I'm soooooooo happy to have this win.

As for the broadcast, it was the usual stuff. The ten millionth mention of how nice Nebraska fans are. Seriosuly, at some point I'm waiting to hear about how they massage the feet of visitors to their football stadium and basketball arena.

And as usual, Dan Dakich has multiple orgasms over Indiana. Granted, he's going to be biased. But I'm still waiting to see how Creen's team does against a ranked opponent.


January 23rd, 2016 at 5:05 PM ^

bad we were going to be earlier in the season, including myself.  So glad we were all wrong, thanks Beilein.  And even without Caris, we're looking great and will be even better when he comes back.  Our defense is still struggling but it will be that way for the rest of the season. Our offense is carrying us and Walton is being more consistent each game and Zak's D is getting better.  I think we can go at least 2-3 in the five match-ups we have left against ranked teams.

Does anyone else think IU is overrated?  Their schedule is so easy!  In this 11-0 stretch they haven't played a single ranked team.  Michigan plays 10 ranked teams this year...IU plays 6, lame.  I'm glad we play harder match-ups, maybe I just hate IU and think we should be ranked over them.  Go blue.