Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, March 11, 2016
If you didn?t know it was March yet, you do now. The zaniness continued at the Big Ten tourney after a wild Thursday that saw double-digit seeds Illinois and Nebraska advance. This time, it was Michigan pulling the shocker with a 72-69 win vs. No. 1 seed Indiana.
The win probably punches a ticket to the NCAA tourney for Michigan, who entered the day with a 68 RPI and a strength of schedule rating of 63, according to the NCAA. Michigan will play the winner of the Purdue-Illinois game. Despite the loss, Indiana still figures to be a No. 3 or No. 4 seed in the NCAA tourney.
Top star: Michigan?s Zak Irvin carried a big load again, scoring a game-high 17 points. He was six-for-six from the free-throw line, which was huge. And he also had five rebounds.
Top stat line: Derrick Walton?s line is worth noting. He scored just two points (on free throws). But the Michigan point man dished 12 assists and had only two turnovers, making smart decisions time and again.
Top stat: 4, 3-pointers by Indiana on 17 attempts (23.5 percent). This is a team that makes a living from beyond the arc. The Hoosiers also were hurt by 15 turnovers while having only 13 assists.
Top dunk: Indiana?s Thomas Bryant went flying down the lane for a monstrous one-handed slam early in the second half. And Michigan?s Mark Donnal answered with a two-handed flush at the other end in an exciting sequence. The roof nearly came off the arena in that 30-second span.
It was over when: With the game clock winding down in a tie contest, Derrick Walton dribbled seconds off the clock. The ball quickly found Kameron Chatman in the right corner. And, he didn?t look like he wanted to shoot. But, Chatman let it rip ? and the ball splashed through the net with 0.2 seconds left to give Michigan a 72-69 win. Before the game winner, Michigan?s Duncan Robinson tied the game with a 3-pointer from the other corner, which was followed by an IU turnover that set up Michigan with a chance to win.
Did you see that? The mob of players that surrounded Kameron Chatman after his game winning shots is what makes March the most beautiful month of the year.
- Indiana never has won the Big Ten tourney title. The Hoosiers have played in the Big Ten title game just one time, losing in 2001 to Iowa.
- Derrick Walton?s 12 assists set a Big Ten tourney record.
- Yogi Ferrell broke Bobby Wilkerson?s season record for assists by a senior with 173.
- The Hoosiers have reached the semis only once since 2007.
- Indiana appeared to have the game in hand when it took a 66-61 lead with 2:36 left. But the Wolverines rallied to score the final six points.