Gut reactions to a second-half collapse for Michigan basketball vs. Illinois

Michigan basketball had a shot to knock off Illinois on Thursday night, until it all fell apart, like it usually does.

Illinois v Michigan
Illinois v Michigan / Aaron J. Thornton/GettyImages
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SCORE . 73. 485. Final. 88. 481

The second half continues to be a nightmare for Michigan basketball.

After trailing by just one point at the half against Illinois and after getting back within that margin on a 3-pointer by Olivier Nkamhoua at the 14:11 mark of the second half, the Wolverines fell apart. Illinois ripped off a 10-0 run and for all intents and purposes, the game was over.

What looked like it was going to be a nail biter ended up as an 88-73 win for the Fighting Illini and yet another loss for Michigan basketball to Illinois. The Illini had five players in double figures. Tarris Reed scored 20 for the Wolverines. Dug McDaniel added 16 and Nkamhoua had 14. But Michigan basketball made just three 3-pointers and got dominated on the boards.

At the end of the day, it looked like just about every Michigan basketball-Illinois game during the Juwan Howard era and here are the gut reactions as the Wolverines fall to 7-11.

Gut reactions: Michigan basketball loss to Illiinois

  • It was a solid first half for the Wolverines. But like many of Michigan basketball's Big Ten games, it was followed by a terrible second half. It's hard not to blame that on coaching, especially when it happens over and over again.
  • The defense just isn't good enough. It was terrible in the second half, allowing 51 points to an Illinois team that scored 88 with just six 3-pointers. You can't win when you allow 1.27 points per possession and Thursday was another example of how poor this team has been defensively.
  • The edge on the glass seemed inevitable but it was still disheartening. The second-half effort wasn't good enough.
  • I can't believe I actually picked Michigan to win the game. I felt OK with about 14 minutes left and then the wheels came off. So much for manifesting. This just isn't a good team and it's not going to play in the postseason. Not unless something changes drastically.