Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, March 1, 2018
NEW YORK — Michigan was the pick of some to win the Big Ten tourney for a second year in a row. Last year, the Wolverines did it as a No. 8 seed. This year, Michigan is a No. 5 seed, arriving in New York riding a five-game winning streak.
The Wolverines remained hot, taking a 77-71 OT win vs. pesky No. 12 Iowa despite hitting just 3-of-19 3-pointers. The Hawkeyes got to Thursday after dumping No. 13 Illinois in the opener on Wednesday. Alas, Iowa's season ends, as the program will miss the Big Dance for a second year in a row after making it from 2014-16.
Top star: Michigan's Charles Matthews tallied 16 points, hitting 5-of-10 shots, to go along with eight rebounds in 41 minutes. Hat's off to the Kentucky transfer.
18, free throws Michigan made, the same number Iowa attempted. (The Wolverines attempted 32, though, for a 56 percent clip.)
Top shot: After missing two 3-pointers that would have tied the game, Iowa was forced to foul Michigan with less than a minute to go. But the Wolverines' Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman missed the front end of a one-and-one. Iowa had one more chance. And Jordan Bohannon drained a looooooong 3-pointer with 16 seconds left to forge a 67-67 tie and force OT. This after he had left the court earlier with an injury.
Top dunk: Early in the second half, Michigan's Moe Wagner threw down a vicious one-handed slam that brought the crowd to its feet. Props to Charles Matthews, too, who caught some serious air on a two-handed slam in the second half.
It was over when: In OT, Iowa's Luka Garza hit one of two free throws to give the Hawkeyes a 70-69 lead with 2:33 left. But Michigan's Duncan Robinson answered with a 3-pointer to give the Wolverines a 72-70 lead with 2:17 remaining. Iowa had a few shots to tie the game with a 3-pointer in the final minute, but it came up short time and again vs. a Michigan team that had Moe Wagner and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman on the bench fouled out.
Did you see that? In the first half, Zavier Simpson hit a stunning one-handed, teardrop runner that seemed like it was gonna kiss the roof of Madison Square Garden.
- Michigan has won at least one Big Ten tourney game 12 seasons in a row.
- This was Iowa's first OT game in Big Ten tourney history.
- This is the third consecutive year Michigan has won an OT game in the Big Ten tourney. It beat Northwestern in 2016 and Purdue last year.