Penn State stunned Michigan in State College (84-78) and gave them a tight game (79-71) in Ann Arbor. But there would be no nail-biting for Michigan in this meeting. The Wolverines trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half and led by just two points at halftime. But Michigan broke open the game in the second half, shooting 33 percent from three-point range (6-of-18) for the game and hitting 19 free throws to Penn State’s five over 40 minutes.
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Key moment: Penn State called timeout with 11:49 left in the game and trailing 54-47. It called another time out with 10:23 remaining. Only this time, the Nittany Lions trailed, 61-47, thanks to a pair of Jon Horford free throws, a Tim Hardaway, Jr., free throw, a Glenn Robinson III layup and a Horford jumper. And just like that—crash, bang, wallop–the game was essentially over at that point.
Key player: Trey Burke was, well, Trey Burke. He tallied a game-high 21 points, hitting 7-of-15 shots (3-of-5 from 3-point land) along with three assists, three blocks and two boards.
Key number: Michigan was careful with the ball, committing a scant four turnovers. That was a big reason why the Nittany Lions had only three points on fastbreaks and just two points off turnovers.
What’s next: The Wolverines will play Wisconsin in the second round on Friday. The teams played once this year—and it was a doozy. The Badgers took a 65-62 decision in overtime in Madison. But the game almost didn’t reach the extra stanza, as Wisconsin’s Ben Brust had to nail a shot just inside of halfcourt to force overtime.
|About Tom Dienhart||BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.|
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