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Nothing But 'Net - Week #17 - Staying On The Bubble

Monday, February 19, 2007 - Drew Montag

 

02/19/2007 – Week #17 – Staying On The Bubble

 

The Week In Review

The University of Michigan men’s basketball team played two games this week, and they lost on the road, and won at home.  On Tuesday (02/13/2007), they lost at Michigan State (59-44), then on Saturday (02/17/2007), they beat (#24) Indiana (58-55)in Crisler Arena.  The win and the loss brought Michigan's record to 18-9 (6-6).  They are currently tied for 6th place in the Big Ten.  They're hanging in there in the competition for good seedings in the Big Ten Tournament, even though they're out of the race for the Big Ten regular season title.  More importantly, they’re staying “on the bubble” for a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

 

The Michigan State game was frustrating.  The 15-point margin of victory for MSU was not indicative of the game.  With about 6 minutes left, MSU was only up by 2 points.  They got hot down the stretch, and UM went cold, and the final margin was a lot wider than it should have been.  The frustrating part was that it was a game that Michigan could have won.  It’s hard to beat MSU in Breslin, and this was a good year to do it, since MSU is down.  Oh well…

 

The Indiana game was very exciting, and it was great to see Michigan play tough in the last 2 minutes of a close game.  The Wolverines led for almost the entire game, except for two 1-point leads that IU managed to eke out near the end of the game.  Every time IU went ahead, Michigan answered, and re-took the lead.  They built up a 5-point lead in the last minute, and hit their free throws to seal the win.  It was a big win, on national TV, in front of only the 2nd sellout of the season (Georgetown was the other).  It was the first time that Coach Tommy Amaker has beaten Indiana, and it is Michigan’s first win over a ranked team this season.

 

I’ve been working as an usher in Crisler Arena this season, and they sent several ushers down to stand between the Maize Rage and the benches and the scorers table.  I stood at mid-court for the last 2 minutes of the game, right in front of the Maize Rage, and it was awesome.  They did a great job of supporting the team in a positive manner, and they kept the energy level way up.

 

Game Statistics

Let's look at the shooting statistics from the Michigan State game:

 

Team

Field goals

3-Pointers

Free throws

Michigan

18-51 (35.3%)

4-13 (30.8%)

4-4 (100.0%)

Michigan State

21-47 (44.7%)

5-11 (45.5%)

12-16 (75.0%)

Advantage

Michigan State

Michigan State

Michigan

 

Here's where MSU won the game: overall shooting.  The 8 extra points from the free-throw line didn’t hurt either.

 

Now, let's look at the non-shooting statistics from the Michigan State game:

 

Team

Rebounds

Assists

Turnovers

Blocks

Steals

Michigan

32

8

20

5

4

Michigan State

30

15

14

4

10

Advantage

Michigan

MSU

MSU

Michigan

MSU

 

These stats are all pretty close, except for Turnovers and Steals.  The overall shooting percentage may have won the game for MSU, but the Turnovers really hurt Michigan.

 

Moving on to the Indiana game, let’s look at the shooting statistics:

 

Team

Field goals

3-Pointers

Free throws

Michigan

18-42 (42.9%)

8-14 (57.1%)

14-22 (57.1%)

Indiana

19-53 (35.8%)

6-21 (28.6%)

11-18 (61.1%)

Advantage

Michigan

Michigan

Indiana

 

This was a close game, and the stats show it.  Even though Michigan shot much better than IU did from the field, Indiana had one more basket overall.  The difference was the extra 3 points from the free throw line.

 

Finally, let's look at the non-shooting statistics from the Indiana game:

 

Team

Rebounds

Assists

Turnovers

Blocks

Steals

Michigan

35

14

14

6

2

Indiana

32

11

8

3

3

Advantage

Michigan

Michigan

Indiana

Michigan

Indiana

 

These stats are all pretty close, except for Turnovers, which Indiana won.  The 3 extra Blocks really helped Michigan.

 

Individual Statistics

Coach Amaker went with his regular starting lineup for the MSU game, but he mixed things up for the Indiana game, replacing Courtney Simswith Ekpe Udoh, and Ron Colemanwith Jerret Smith.  Here's how the starters did this week:

 

 

Player

Field Goals

3-Pointers

Free Throws

Points

MSU

IU

MSU

IU

MSU

IU

MSU

IU

Lester Abram

3-7

2-6

0-1

1-1

0-0

2-4

6

7

Ron Coleman

1-4

Bench

0-3

Bench

0-0

Bench

2

Bench

Dion Harris

4-13

5-11

3-6

4-8

2-2

2-2

13

16

Brent Petway

3-6

1-6

0-0

0-0

0-0

2-3

6

4

Courtney Sims

2-6

Bench

0-0

Bench

0-0

Bench

4

Bench

Jerret Smith

Bench

4-5

Bench

2-3

Bench

2-3

Bench

12

Ekpe Udoh

Bench

1-4

Bench

0-0

Bench

0-0

Bench

2

Totals

13-36

36.1%

13-32

40.6%

3-10

30.0%

7-12

58.3%

2-2

100.0%

8-12

66.7%

31

41

 

As a group, the starters had a decent week.  Their percentages are reasonable, they just didn’t score enough points in the MSU game.

 

Individually, Harris had another good week.  Since he was lousy in the Iowa game, he has had 4 consecutive good or great games.  He was the only starter to hit double figures in both games.  Abram did OK, but not great, in both games.  Same with Petway.  Smith was the only other starter to hit double figures, but he only started one game.  The other players who only started one game didn’t do much as starters.

 

Here’s how the bench players did this week:

 

 

Player

Field Goals

3-Pointers

Free Throws

Points

MSU

IU

MSU

IU

MSU

IU

MSU

IU

Reed Baker

0-0

1-2

0-0

1-1

0-0

0-0

0

3

Ron Coleman

Starter

0-1

Starter

0-1

Starter

0-0

Starter

0

Jevohn Shepherd

0-0

0-1

0-0

0-0

2-2

0-0

2

0

Courtney Sims

Starter

4-6

Starter

0-0

Starter

5-8

Starter

13

DeShawn Sims

0-4

0-0

0-2

0-0

0-0

1-2

0

1

Jerret Smith

3-5

Starter

1-1

Starter

0-0

Starter

7

Starter

Ekpe Udoh

2-6

Starter

0-0

Starter

0-0

Starter

4

Starter

Totals

5-15

33.3%

5-10

50.0%

1-3

33.3%

1-2

50.0%

2-2

100.0%

6-10

60.0%

13

17

 

As a group, the bench players played pretty well.  Their percentages are acceptable, and they chipped in a few points.

 

Individually, only Courtney Sims hit double figures coming off the bench.  Smith played pretty well against MSU, and Baker hit a big 3-pointer against Indiana, but other than that, no one stood out.

 

The Big Picture

Here’s the 2006-2007 schedule/results:

 

Date

Opponent

Site

Result

Score

Record

11/02/2006 (Thu)

Wayne State (exh)

Ann Arbor

W

85-51

0-0

11/05/2006 (Sun)

Michigan Tech (exh)

Ann Arbor

W

85-50

0-0

1.1.1.1.1.1              John Thompson Challenge

11/10/2006 (Fri)

Central Connecticut State

Ann Arbor

W

60-40

1-0

11/11/2006 (Sat)

Davidson

Ann Arbor

W

78-68

2-0

11/12/2006 (Sun)

Eastern Michigan

Ann Arbor

W

80-51

3-0

11/15/2006 (Wed)

Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Ann Arbor

W

66-59

4-0

11/17/2006 (Fri)

Harvard

Ann Arbor

W

82-50

5-0

11/22/2006 (Wed)

Youngstown State

Ann Arbor

W

65-56

6-0

11/25/2006 (Sat)

Maryland-Baltimore County

Ann Arbor

W

66-54

7-0

1.1.1.1.1.2              ACC/Big Ten Challenge

11/27/2006 (Mon)

North Carolina State

Raleigh, NC

L

67-74

7-1

12/02/2006 (Sat)

Wofford

Ann Arbor

W

83-49

8-1

12/07/2006 (Thu)

Miami (OH)

Oxford, OH

W

62-56

9-1

12/09/2006 (Sat)

Delaware State

Ann Arbor

W

70-43

10-1

12/16/2006 (Sat)

Northern Illinois

Ann Arbor

W

67-52

11-1

12/23/2006 (Sat)

UCLA

Los Angeles, CA

L

92-55

11-2

12/28/2006 (Thu)

Army

Ann Arbor

W

62-50

12-2

12/30/2006 (Sat)

Georgetown

Ann Arbor

L

51-67

12-3

01/03/2007 (Wed)

Illinois

Ann Arbor

W

71-61

13-3 (1-0)

01/06/2007 (Sat)

Northwestern

Evanston, IL

W

58-46

14-3 (2-0)

01/13/2007 (Sat)

Purdue

West Lafayette, IN

L

53-67

14-4 (2-1)

01/17/2007 (Wed)

Penn State

Ann Arbor

W

77-57

15-4 (3-1)

01/20/2007 (Sat)

Purdue

Ann Arbor

W

71-55

16-4 (4-1)

01/24/2007 (Wed)

Wisconsin

Madison, WI

L

58-71

16-5 (4-2)

01/27/2007 (Sat)

Indiana

Bloomington, IN

L

61-76

16-6 (4-3)

01/31/2007 (Wed)

Iowa

Ann Arbor

L

62-69

16-7 (4-4)

02/06/2007 (Tue)

Ohio State

Columbus, OH

L

63-76

16-8 (4-5)

02/10/2007 (Sat)

Minnesota

Ann Arbor

W

82-80

17-8 (5-5)

02/13/2007 (Tue)

Michigan State

East Lansing, MI

L

44-59

17-9 (5-6)

02/17/2007 (Sat)

Indiana

Ann Arbor

W

58-55

18-9 (6-6)

02/21/2007 (Wed)

Illinois

Champaign, IL

 

 

 

02/24/2007 (Sat)

Minnesota

Minneapolis, MN

 

 

 

02/27/2007 (Tue)

Michigan State

Ann Arbor

 

 

 

03/03/2007 (Sat)

Ohio State

Ann Arbor

 

 

 

1.1.1.1.1.3              Big Ten Tournament

03/08/2007 (Thu)

First Round

Chicago, IL

 

 

 

03/09/2007 (Fri)

Quarterfinals

Chicago, IL

 

 

 

03/10/2007 (Sat)

Semifinals

Chicago, IL

 

 

 

03/11/2007 (Sun)

Finals

Chicago, IL

 

 

 

 

With just 2 weeks left in the regular season, Michigan is still on the bubble for an NCAA bid.  They have 4 games left, 2 on the road, and 2 at home.  They need to beat Minnesota on the road and Michigan State in Crisler to stay on the bubble.  They’ll have a much harder time in their other 2 games: at Illinois (on the day they retire their mascot, Chief Illiniwek, after 81 years) and at home vs. (#1) Ohio State.  If they can win the other 2 games, they’ll finish the regular season with a record of 20-11.  That will probably leave them 1-2 wins short of a ticket to The Big Dance, so they’ll have to do well in the Big Ten Tournament.  It’s still possible, but Michigan has very little margin for error left.

 

Big Ten Results

Here are the current Big Ten standings, after Week #7 of league play:

 

 

Team

Big Ten

Overall

Wins

Losses

Percent

Wins

Losses

Percent

Wisconsin

12

1

0.923

26

2

0.929

Ohio State

12

1

0.923

24

3

0.889

Indiana

7

5

0.583

17

8

0.680

Iowa

7

6

0.538

15

12

0.556

Illinois

7

6

0.538

19

9

0.679

Michigan State

6

6

0.500

19

8

0.704

Michigan

6

6

0.500

18

9

0.667

Purdue

6

6

0.500

17

9

0.654

Minnesota

3

10

0.231

9

18

0.333

Northwestern

2

11

0.154

12

14

0.462

Penn State

1

11

0.083

10

15

0.400

 

Here are the resultsfrom last week's games:

 

Tuesday (02/13/2007)

Michigan lost at Michigan State, 59-44

 

Wednesday (02/14/2007)

Ohio State won at Penn State, 64-62

Wisconsin won at Minnesota, 75-62

 

Thursday (02/15/2007) (Rescheduled from Tuesday, due to weather)

Indiana lost at Purdue, 81-68

Northwestern lost at Iowa, 66-58

 

Saturday (02/17/2007)

Indiana lost at Michigan, 58-55

Penn State lost at Wisconsin, 75-49

Iowa lost at Michigan State, 81-49

 

Sunday (02/18/2007)

Ohio State won at Minnesota, 85-67

Northwestern lost at Illinois, 48-37

 

The home teams didn’t do quite as well as usual, going 7-3.  Of course, 2 of those 3 home losses were courtesy of Minnesota, who got to play Wisconsin and Ohio State.  The other was also a road win for Ohio State, at Penn State.

 

There were a few surprising results this week, starting with Ohio State’s narrow escape at Penn State on Wednesday, continuing with Purdue’s upset of Indiana on Thursday, and finishing with the pounding that Michigan State put on Iowa on Saturday.

 

Here are the games scheduledfor the upcoming week:

 

Tuesday (02/20/2007)

Wisconsin at Michigan State

 

Wednesday (02/21/2007)

Michigan at Illinois

Minnesota at Indiana

Penn State at Ohio State

Purdue at Iowa

Texas-Pan American at Northwestern (non-conference)

 

Saturday (02/24/2007)

Michigan at Minnesota

Purdue at Northwestern

Illinois at Penn State

Indiana at Michigan State

 

Sunday (02/25/2007)

Wisconsin at Ohio State

 

There are a few big games this week:

·         Wisconsin at Michigan State on Tuesday.  Wisconsin is fighting to stay in first place, and Michigan State is fighting to get to the NCAA Tournament.  MSU is tough in Breslin, so it should be quite a battle.

·         Michigan at Illinois on Wednesday.  Both teams are fighting for a spot in the NCAA Tournament.  As I mentioned above, Illinois will have additional motivation since they’re being forced to retire their mascot.

·         Indiana at Michigan State on Saturday.  More battling for seeding in the Big Ten Tournament, and for spots in the Big Dance.

·         Wisconsin at Ohio State on Sunday.  This is THE game of the year in the Big Ten race.  Wisconsin won the first round, in Madison.  I expect Ohio State to return the favor in Columbus.

 

Here are all the Big Ten results for the whole season, with the teams in alphabetical order, and the wins, losses, and remaining games in scheduled order:

 

Team

Record

Wins

Losses

Remaining Games

Illinois

7-6

Iowa (H)

Minnesota (A)

Indiana (H)

Michigan State (H)

Minnesota (H)

Northwestern (A)

Northwestern (H)

Michigan (A)

Ohio State (H)

Michigan State (A)

Wisconsin (H)

Purdue (A)

Indiana (A)

Michigan (H)

Penn State (A)

Iowa (A)

Indiana

7-5

Michigan State (H)

Purdue (H)

Penn State (A)

Iowa (H)

Michigan (H)

Wisconsin (H)

Illinois (H)

Ohio State (A)

Illinois (A)

Iowa (A)

Purdue (A)

Michigan (A)

Minnesota (H)

Michigan State (A)

Northwestern (A)

Penn State (H)

Iowa

7-6

Michigan State (H)

Minnesota (H)

Penn State (H)

Michigan (A)

Indiana (H)

Minnesota (A)

Northwestern (H)

Illinois (A)

Indiana (A)

Ohio State (A)

Wisconsin (H)

Wisconsin (A)

Michigan State (A)

Purdue (H)

Penn State (A)

Illinois (H)

Michigan

6-6

Illinois (H)

Northwestern (A)

Penn State (H)

Purdue (H)

Minnesota (H)

Indiana (H)

Purdue (A)

Wisconsin (A)

Indiana (A)

Iowa (H)

Ohio State (A)

Michigan State (A)

Illinois (A)

Minnesota (A)

Michigan State (H)

Ohio State (H)

Michigan State

6-6

Northwestern (H)

Illinois (H)

Penn State (A)

Minnesota (H)

Michigan (H)

Iowa (H)

Iowa (A)

Indiana (A)

Ohio State (A)

Illinois (A)

Ohio State (H)

Purdue (A)

Wisconsin (H)

Indiana (H)

Michigan (A)

Wisconsin (A)

Minnesota

3-10

Purdue (H)

Penn State (H)

Northwestern (A)

Wisconsin (A)

Iowa (A)

Illinois (H)

Northwestern (H)

Michigan State (A)

Illinois (A)

Iowa (H)

Michigan (A)

Wisconsin (H)

Ohio State (H)

Indiana (A)

Michigan (H)

Purdue (A)

Northwestern

2-11

Minnesota (A)

Penn State (H)

Penn State (A)

Michigan (H)

Michigan State (A)

Wisconsin (H)

Ohio State (A)

Ohio State (H)

Minnesota (H)

Wisconsin (A)

Illinois (H)

Iowa (A)

Illinois (A)

Purdue (H)

Indiana (H)

Purdue (A)

Ohio State

12-1

Indiana (H)

Illinois (A)

Northwestern (H)

Iowa (H)

Northwestern (A)

Michigan State (H)

Purdue (A)

Michigan State (A)

Michigan (H)

Purdue (H)

Penn State (A)

Minnesota (A)

Wisconsin (A)

Penn State (H)

Wisconsin (H)

Michigan (A)

Penn State

1-11

Northwestern (H)

Purdue (A)

Indiana (H)

Michigan (A)

Michigan State (H)

Iowa (A)

Minnesota (A)

Purdue (H)

Wisconsin (H)

Northwestern (A)

Ohio State (H)

Wisconsin (A)

Ohio State (A)

Illinois (H)

Iowa (H)

Indiana (A)

Purdue

6-6

Penn State (H)

Michigan (H)

Illinois (H)

Penn State (A)

Michigan State (H)

Indiana (H)

Minnesota (A)

Indiana (A)

Wisconsin (A)

Michigan (A)

Ohio State (H)

Ohio State (A)

Iowa (A)

Northwestern (A)

Minnesota (H)

Northwestern (H)

Wisconsin

12-1

Minnesota (H)

Ohio State (H)

Northwestern (A)

Purdue (H)

Illinois (A)

Michigan (H)

Iowa (A)

Northwestern (H)

Penn State (A)

Iowa (H)

Minnesota (A)

Penn State (H)

Indiana (A)

Michigan State (A)

Ohio State (A)

Michigan State (H)

 

Now that Indiana lost twice last week, there are definitely only 2 contenders left for the Big Ten championship: Ohio State and Wisconsin.  Here's a breakdown of their remaining games:

 

 

Team

Tough Games

Easy Games

Home

Away

Home

Away

Ohio State

Wisconsin

Michigan

Penn State

 

Wisconsin

 

Michigan State

Michigan State

Ohio State

 

 

 

It looks like Ohio State has the easier remaining schedule.  They have 2 of their 3 remaining games at home, and one of them is very easy (Penn State).  On the other hand, Wisconsin has to play 2 of their 3 remaining games on the road, and they’re all toughies.

 

The Upcoming Week

As you can see in the schedule above, Michigan has two games this week, both on the road.  On Wednesday (02/21/2007, 9:00 p.m. EST), they play at Illinois, then on Saturday (02/24/2007, 2:30 p.m. EST), they play at Minnesota.  Both games are on TV, so tune in and check out the Wolverines.

 

Go Blue!

 

 


Drew Montag
Men's Basketball Editor, UMGoBlue.COM

 
 
 
 
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