Nothing like the Big Ten Tournament for some truly gut wrenching basketball. And not gut wrenching in the edge of your seat kind of way, more in the "I just ate vending machine tuna sandwich that had an 'I like Ike' sticker on it" kind of way.
Michigan Basketball, Eat at Your Own Risk.
Despite going ten minutes without a field goal during a second half drought, Michigan topped Iowa 55-47. How anyone wins a basketball game shooting 27.3% during the second half is beyond me. I guess it helps if the bad guys shoot 20% from the floor and fails to make a single trey in the second stanza. Yeah. I bet that helps.
On a positive note, this is Michigan's first Big Ten tournament win under Beilein and it ensures Michigan will finish the season with double digits in the win column. Michigan also has the good fortune of drawing Wisconsin, a team it scared the holy hell out of two months ago, as its next opponent. During the teams' second meeting in Ann Arbor, Michigan came within three points of topping the then 11th ranked Badgers. This is even more remarkable when you consider the Badgers shot 60% from the floor during the second half, and they almost lost. Good sign? Maybe. You can take it for what its worth.
As much as I'd like to say it's a good omen, Michigan lost its next three games in embarrassing fashion, including a double digit home loss to Minnesota. Looking back Michigan lost the season's first meeting with Wisconsin by 16. Further, the Badgers shot just over or just under 50% against Michigan in both games. Better defense or not, Wisconsin isn't going to pull an Iowa and shoot 32%FG and 12% from three. No one should be holding their breath for an upset.
My congratulations to Black Heart Gold Pants for being the first member of the Big Ten Bloggers Association to be able to take their basketball season out back, tie it to a tree, and mercifully, bash its head in with a shovel. You, sirs, are lucky men. Remember to bury it deep. It keeps the smell down.
Michigan plays #1 seeded Wisconsin on Friday at noon. Keep your shovels handy.