Nothing But ‘Net – Week #20 – 03/11/2024 – The Merciful End To The Regular Season

The University of Michigan men’s basketball team played one game this past week, and they lost it.  On Sunday (03/10/2024), they lost to Nebraska 85-70 in Crisler Arena.  The loss lowers Michigan’s record to 8-23 (3-17 in Big Ten).  Michigan has now lost 8 games in a row.

What Happened?

The regular season is now mercifully over, and it was a really bad season.  Michigan finished dead last in the Big Ten for the first time in over 40 years, and they’re in last place by a wide margin (4 games).  They played their typical lousy game against Nebraska, and never were really close after the first few minutes of the second half.  It was a dreary affair.  I’m just glad the regular season is over.

Game Flow

Michigan led in the early going, up 16-14 with 14:58 to go in the 1st half.  That was the last time Michigan led.  Nebraska went on a 7-0 run to go ahead 22-16 at the 13:29 mark, and they kept the lead in the 5-7 point range for the rest of the half, up 7 points (50-43) at halftime.  Michigan got a little closer, down 6 points (54-48) with 18:12 to go, before Nebraska pulled away.  They pushed the lead up to 20 points (70-50) at the 13:37 mark, and toyed with Michigan the rest of the way.  UM got as close as 12 points a couple times, but Nebraska always responded to keep the lead around 15-17 points, winning by 15.


The game stats for the Nebraska game were mediocre.  Michigan shot poorly overall (23-for-58 = 39.7%), they shot 3-pointers decently (9-for-28 = 32.1%), and they shot free throws well (15-for-18 = 83.3%).  They lost the rebounding battle (33-29) and the turnover battle (9-8).  They lost this game with poor shooting, especially in the 2nd half: 7-for-29 overall, 1-for-13 from deep.

Who Started?

The starters were Nimari Burnett, Dug McDaniel, Tarris Reed, Jr., Will Tschetter, and Terrance Williams II.

Who Looked Good?

McDaniel was the leading scorer, with 17 points, all in the 1st half.  He was hot from 3-point range: 5-for-7.

Williams was the only other Michigan player in double figures, with 14 points.

Reed had a decent game, with 8 points.

Tschetter had a decent game, with 6 points.

Tray Jackson chipped in 8 points off the bench, along with 4 rebounds.

Jackson Selvala got to play in the last 2 minutes, and scored 2 points on free throws.  It was nice, since he was one of the four players honored on Senior Day.

Who Looked Not-So-Good?

Burnett had a lousy game, with 7 points on terrible shooting: 2-for-10 overall, 1-for-7 from deep.  He also had 3 turnovers.

Who Else Played?

Jaelin Llewellyn scored 5 points.

Youssef Khayat scored 3 points.

George Washington III played in the last 2 minutes, but didn’t attempt a shot.

Ian Burns played in the last 2 minutes, but missed his only shot attempt.

Who Didn’t Play?

Jace Howard was the only scholarship player who didn’t play.  He might be sick or injured.

Harrison Hochberg and Cooper Smith were the Scout Team players who didn’t play.

What Does It Mean?

On to the Big Ten Tournament.  With their record, Michigan needs to win the tournament to get the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.  This is EXTREMELY unlikely.  Since their record is so far below 0.500, they can’t get into the NIT if they lose in the Big Ten Tournament.  So, it’s win or go home.

What’s Next?

The Big Ten Tournament is in Minneapolis this year.  Michigan is the #14 seed, and they play the #11 seed (Penn State) at about 9:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday (03/13/2024), televised on Peacock.  If they manage to win that game, they play the #6 seed (Indiana) at about 9:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, televised on BTN.  If they win THAT game, their next game would be against the #3 seed (Nebraska) at about 9:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, televised on BTN.  If the miracle run continues, they would play again on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. EDT on CBS, and Sunday at 3:30 p.m. EDT on CBS.  I don’t expect them to win one game, much less five, but just in case, here’s the full bracket.

Penn State is currently 15-16 (9-11 in Big Ten).  Michigan played Penn State back on 01/07/2024 on a semi-neutral court, the Palestra in Philadelphia.  Penn State beat Michigan, 79-73, and I expect the same result in the tournament.  This Michigan team is reeling, their confidence is shot, and their roster is depleted.

Check back next week to find out what happened and why.

Go Blue!