Michigan Basketball: Northwestern at Michigan — Wrap-Up — Big Ten March Shifts Into Brutal Overdrive
At times Michigan did not play good defense, but it did not matter, as another opponent starting missing shots in the second half of a game that went in earlier. Michigan got beat at times on backdoor cuts and gave up plenty of points on simple head fakes that the Michigan defenders fell for instead of holding position. Northwestern gathered a large number of offensive rebounds.
In the end, the Michigan offense again functioned well enough to overcome the above deficiencies in winning 68-46. The win clinched another 20-win season for Coach Beilein.
Michigan played pretty well to open the game on offense. Good passing using patience and the clock resulted in good shots. Northwestern starting turning the ball over and Michigan was off to the races for some easy scores that put the Wolverines out ahead.
Hardaway Junior struggled early and his attempts to get into the offense game flow proved counterproductive. Eventually Trey Burke just took it upon himself to get to the hoop in the second half and cancel out some of the offensive play that saw little use of the play clock and long three pointers.
Michigan made good on coach Beilein’s comments about working on getting the ball inside. Jon Horford worked hard for position, worked to back the ball inside and scored enough to contribute.
Everything else pretty much went according to script and there is little need to over-analyze what happened.Michigan starts a brutal four game swing that may determine if the Wolverines have a chance at the league title. It would seem as if some enemy of Michigan made a ghoulish stretch to inflict damage. Three of the games are on the road and one, Ohio State, is at home.
The mental toughness discussed many times here will be sorely tested. Indiana is very good and will go after Michigan’s soft inside defense. If Michigan collapses the ball will be kicked out to the guards to shoot threes. The Hoosiers can beat teams bad on the boards, and Michigan, since Morgan’s injury has given up bunches of offensive rebounds. Frankly it will take a great effort to hang with Indiana. If Morgan cannot play that is one less inside player and several rebounds off the ledger.
The only good news with the schedule is Michigan gets some relief going down the stretch. But if the Wolverines do not go at least 2-2 in the next four games, there may be no catch-up.
Come to the message board and give us your thoughts, agree or disagree.
Just a reminder you must be a member to participate on the Message Board. Here is the link for the registration page for those people interested in becoming a GBMWolverine member of our message board. GBMWolverine Register.
Please comment on our GBMWolverine Message Board about this article and read what others comment.
You can contact us at our e-mail address: GBMWolverine
Written by GBMWolverine Staff
Go Blue — Wear Maize!