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Michigan 54, Wisconsin 64

Michigan 54, Wisconsin 64 Seth January 19th, 2019 at 3:58 PM
A momentary loss of muscular coordination. A few extra footpounds of energy per second, per second [photo: Patrick Barron]

For an incredible 11 weeks, Michigan managed to avoid a snowstorm. Oh, there was the occasional flurry, but nothing that managed to stick around. This may not seem all the weird to young people who’ve grown up since global warming changed our weather expectations, but to those of us who grew up between the lakes before 2012 the welcome streak of fair weather, underpinned by strong science as it was, seemed as unsustainable as going an entire basketball season in the Big Ten without a loss.

On Saturday winter finally made its presence felt across the upper Midwest. The slippery conditions extended to Wisconin’s Trohl Center, where a team of small children (really, they were using sub-10-year-olds) struggled to keep Michigan’s end of the floor from resembling the state of the roads outside. The combination of Michigan’s lack of traction and some Wisconsin players constantly getting flung backwards by invisible trucks led to a frustrating afternoon for the Wolverine slashers, especially freshman Ignatius Brazdeikis. Iggy, who drew 6’11” Nate Reuvers, got called for two early fouls, played just 23 minutes, and for the first time in his college career finished a game without a point.

Wisconsin’s defense did an excellent job of running Michigan’s offense off the three-point line, and survived their few open looks, with Iggy missing his three, Poole going 1-of-5 (one a moonball that had zero chance of going in), Simpson 1-for-3, and Matthews unable to get one off. An ugly foot-and-rimmer by Teske early in the second half was just the team’s second made three all game.

Michigan spent much of the first half without both of its starting bigs, as Teske picked up a soft reach-on on Happ before Iggy picked up two. That necessitated some long minutes with Austin Davis against Happ. Rather than fouling the sub-50-percent free throw shooter, Davis mostly tried to hold up. The Badgers definitely knew where they wanted to attack with Davis on the floor, and Michigan had to survive some very open perimeters whenever help came. Davis wasn’t bad, but the stretch really made you appreciate how warm and cozy it feels to have Jon Teske on the floor.

Zavier Simpson made sure the game stayed close, bulling his way to the rim to set up easy points for whatever bigs were allowed out, and playing his characteristically dogged defense, especially on the perimeter. ESPN’s broadcast decisions made Wisconsin’s possessions as unwatchable as Brad Davison’s flops, especially in the first half. For a third of the frame much of the Badgers’ offensive zone had an annoying graphic literally covering a third of the frame, and the announcers spent a good four minutes of game time discussing the draft prospects of Michigan, Wisconsin, and, uh Murray State players. Michigan led 27-25 at the break.

When on the floor, Teske made life miserable for Happ, whose 26 points on 22 shots (all at or near the rim) included more than a few friendly Trohl Center rolls. Happ’s incredible post moves are devastating to defenders who leave their feet, but Teske’s size and quick feet allowed him to roll with every shot fake and stay in position.

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Teske’s defense, when available, turned the #2 player to Kenpom into an average man [Barron]

Wisconsin returned the favor and then some on Michigan’s top usage guy, frustrating Charles Matthews into three turnovers and just five points. Much of that usage went to Poole, who finished with an inefficient 14 points on 23 shot equivalents. Livers had a dunk and a beautiful three-pointer late, but also three turnovers. Michigan would finish with 16 of those in a low-possession game.

With Teske’s autobench time served (he’d finish with two) and Happ resting early in the second half, Michigan had its chance to finally generate more than a one-possession lead, but got caught playing too fast. Poole in particular committed a few uncharacteristic turnovers. When Happ returned to the floor with the score tied at the 8:00 mark, it didn’t take my sensitive knees to know a storm was coming. Quickly down four, Poole took a terrible three-point attempt lob, then got flagged for his fourth foul when trying to help on Happ. An Eli Brooks long two was followed by a quick Happ slam and a Michigan timeout.

Again it was Simpson who refused stop fighting the conditions. With 3:00 remaining down six, Simpson forced a turnover, missed a contested transition layup, got the rebound, got fouled, missed two, then set up Livers (missed, rebound out of bounds off Wisconsin) and Teske (made) for open three-point attempts.

Happ got a friendly roll over Teske on a low-percentage (even for him) hook shot from six feet out to push Wisconsin’s lead to five, then made the front end of a 1-and-1 to put it back to six. Livers hit a step-back three to make it a 3-point game with a minute remaining, but the officials whistled Brazeikis for a questionable intentional foul that sent Beilein storming and Happ to the line for two. A few desperation plays later Virginia was the lone unbeaten and Wisconsin got to celebrate its first marquee win of the season.

With the worst part of winter still ahead, this won’t be the last time Michigan has to get out the snow shovels. On Tuesday they’ll host a slushy Minnesota squad that just lost to Illinois(!) before a trip Indiana’s Assembly Hall, another frosty venue that really makes you appreciate the comforts of home.

[Box score after THE JUMP]

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Couzen Rick's

January 19th, 2019 at 4:02 PM ^

Tbh I'm already over it. This isn't a terrible loss resume wise and proves to the team they need to get back to work. Love Iggy but this is a good wake up call after his "we want Duke" soundbite. He'll continue to improve and I'm excited for March. Go Blue!

mgoblue98

January 19th, 2019 at 4:05 PM ^

Well that's it...season over.  There is nothing in the recent past to indicate that Michigan can overcome even a little adversity and go on to have a great season.

Profile picture for user Naked Bootlegger

Naked Bootlegger

January 19th, 2019 at 4:13 PM ^

Lots of empty possessions today.   And in a game against a slow-paced turnover averse team that makes EVERY offensive possession precious, that spelled doom.   

The uncharacteristic fast break turnovers were especially confounding.   There were a handful of fast breaks generated off turnovers that could've been real momentum changers, but sloppy passing killed those potentially easy points.

I attended the game, so I did not see the "intentional" foul as it happened.   But I just watched the replay.   Did Iggy do anything else but hand-check Happ away from the ball?   Did I miss a gross clutch and grab?    I realize that I'm tremendously biased, but I don't see that worthy of an intentional foul.   

Profile picture for user A Lot of Milk

In reply to Lots of empty possessions… by Naked Bootlegger

A Lot of Milk

January 19th, 2019 at 4:26 PM ^

Haven't watched the replay outside of the broadcast, but it looked like Iggy smacked his arm and also was looking at the ref like "hey, call this foul please" like a player does when he's trying to intentionally foul. Obviously not a great look if Iggy didn't know the rule, but I'd rather it happen in this game then say, oh, a national championship game against UNC :(

Profile picture for user Naked Bootlegger

In reply to Haven't watched the replay… by A Lot of Milk

Naked Bootlegger

January 19th, 2019 at 4:48 PM ^

Got it.  Thanks for further clarification.   If the "hey, call this foul please" look was given, then my perception changes entirely.

In reply to Lots of empty possessions… by Naked Bootlegger

B-Nut-GoBlue

January 19th, 2019 at 4:31 PM ^

Good post, agree about the empty possessions and turnovers and sloppy play.  That'll fix itself I'd like to think.  Also not everyday is your day and we finally had a game where too many of our guys had an poor outing (and/or untimely plays).

Fouling a guy away far from the ball though, via holding or hacking his arm...intentionally...is an intentional foul!

andidklein

January 19th, 2019 at 4:22 PM ^

At the beginning of the season, you look at the schedule and figure this game to be a loss. As the season progresses you figure they might have a chance to pull one out in Madison. That, along with the play today is probably why there is a lot of frustration. It's not the end of the world, and there is only one win that really matters, on that Monday night in April.

Profile picture for user True Blue Grit

True Blue Grit

January 19th, 2019 at 4:23 PM ^

It's hard to win a Big Ten game against a solid opponent, especially on the road when two key scorers like Matthews and Brazdeikis combine for 5 points.  I can forgive Iggy as a freshman for having a bad game.  But Matthews as a senior needs to help pull the team up in games like this.  He looked too inactive much of the time on offense, just standing around on the perimeter.  His quickness and athletic ability driving the ball was greatly missed today.  I don't think Wisconsin is that great.  But they seem to have it in for Michigan in that Trohl Center.  

Profile picture for user A Lot of Milk

A Lot of Milk

January 19th, 2019 at 4:23 PM ^

Weird take, but I don't feel as bad after losses when we still get to play that team again. Like I hated losing at NW last year because we already had played them at home and I knew we weren't gonna get revenge back until this year. Bucky is gonna get served in a few weeks at Crisler, it's gonna be rocking

footballguy

January 19th, 2019 at 4:23 PM ^

Jesus Christ, this was a terrible blog post

Profile picture for user El Jeffe

In reply to Jesus Christ, this was a… by footballguy

El Jeffe

January 19th, 2019 at 4:36 PM ^

I've always thought of Seth as more of a Moses figure.

But your argument is airtight, I'll give you that.

Profile picture for user KBLOW

In reply to Jesus Christ, this was a… by footballguy

KBLOW

January 19th, 2019 at 4:47 PM ^

The one you just made? Yes, yes it is.

aiglick

January 19th, 2019 at 4:24 PM ^

Baby it’s cold outside

Profile picture for user Warm Cockles

Warm Cockles

January 19th, 2019 at 4:26 PM ^

Gotta not auto-bench Teske there. There was no winning this game without Teske on the floor, just gotta leave him out there.

Beilein is the biggest auto-bencher in the country.

Profile picture for user stephenrjking

In reply to Gotta not auto-bench Teske… by Warm Cockles

stephenrjking

January 19th, 2019 at 4:39 PM ^

He is, and the autobench may have been a mistake, but that's not why Michigan lost. They finished that half with the lead, and Teske was in most of the way down the stretch (when he sat, it wasn't for fouls) and Michigan just couldn't get any offense no matter who was out there. 

Ironically, Teske was our best 3-point option.

B-Nut-GoBlue

January 19th, 2019 at 4:26 PM ^

What was questionable about Iggy' s hacking a player without the ball  (and 25 feet from anyone who did)?!  Agree with Brian on Twitter about them missing one on a Wisc Drebound when Iggy DID foul him.  But that end of game thing was stupid and I really want to know what Beilein was mad about as when he gets that livid there's usually a good reason! 

(Beilein also pissed going into the half...he certainly knew where he was today!)

Profile picture for user I Bleed Maize N Blue

In reply to What was questionable about… by B-Nut-GoBlue

I Bleed Maize N Blue

January 19th, 2019 at 4:32 PM ^

I think it was Iggy fouled him right after he passed the ball, but it wasn't called. Then Iggy fouled him away from the ball, so they called intentional. So Beilein was going off that they didn't call the first  foul that wasn't intentional.

In reply to I think it was Iggy fouled… by I Bleed Maize N Blue

B-Nut-GoBlue

January 19th, 2019 at 4:37 PM ^

Ah gotchya.  Though seeing a gif online even the attempted foul after he passes the ball is pretty close to an intentional...ball was long gone and he swipes, could've been called there too imo though obviously not as egregious as the foul 25 ft away from the ball!

Profile picture for user I Bleed Maize N Blue

In reply to Ah gotchya.  Though seeing a… by B-Nut-GoBlue

I Bleed Maize N Blue

January 19th, 2019 at 4:41 PM ^

Well, you so rarely see Beilein getting mad, so I'll say the refs fucked up there.

Profile picture for user stephenrjking

In reply to Well, you so rarely see… by I Bleed Maize N Blue

stephenrjking

January 19th, 2019 at 4:48 PM ^

Beilein certainly was uncharacteristically hot today, but we see him get upset like this a couple times a year. He's not constantly chewing out officials, so it's notable, but it's not unheard of. It'll happen another time or two this year, probably. 

Profile picture for user El Jeffe

In reply to I think it was Iggy fouled… by



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Michigan 54, Wisconsin 64

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