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Takeaways from Michigan’s overtime win over Ohio

My heart just started beating at a normal pace again.

NCAA Basketball: Ohio at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

You can’t say it was pretty, but the Michigan Wolverines survived a nail-biter at home, defeating the Ohio Bobcats, 70-66.

The Bobcats forced overtime in what may be one of the wildest inbounds plays you’ll ever see, but the Wolverines were able to come away victorious.

Ohio led for most of this game while Michigan gave up wide open shot after wide open shot, as well as what felt like a hundred offensive rebounds.

Hopefully, this is the most stressful game a Michigan team plays this week involving a school from Ohio.

Here are some takeaways from the game

Michigan needs to start games stronger, do a better job taking care of the ball

All year long, Michigan hasn’t gotten off to good starts and that was the case again in this one.

Ohio was knocking down open shots while Michigan struggled offensively. Michigan is too good of a program to be losing to a MAC school for as long as it was.

A big reason why Michigan started slow was its inability to take care of the ball, as they had 11 turnovers total, including six in the first half. The Wolverines should be thankful the Bobcats only got four points off those turnovers, but they have to be more sound offensively.

The Wolverines have to improve defensively

Way too often in this one, the Bobcats seemed like they were one step ahead of the Wolverines on offense.

Michigan allowed way too many open threes. Defensively, too many guys have tunnel vision on the ball, freeing up shooters to hit open shots in the corners. Way too often, it seems like Michigan loses track of cutters as well, which is something that has to be fixed before conference play.

This was a big reason why Michigan got torched by Arizona State. They have to be more sound defensively. Better communication and better close outs at the three-point line would help this squad a lot.

Michigan HAS to rebound better

The easiest way to let a team worse than you stick around is to not box out and let them get as many offensive rebounds as they want, and that’s exactly what happened.

Michigan actually got outrebounded by Ohio, 49-46. This wasn’t a Big Ten school with the size to match Michigan; this was a MAC school who only had one player above 6-foot-8.

For his size, Hunter Dickinson has never been a great rebounder, but he’s not the only one to blame here. The Bobcats kept crashing the boards and nobody was boxing out consistently enough to stop them.

The Wolverines should NEVER be getting outrebounded by a MAC school, especially with the size they have.

Thank god for Dickinson

Turns out, relying on your All-American center is a pretty sound strategy when you’re losing a basketball game.

Dickinson had 24 points and 14 rebounds, including 17 points in that first half and a nice buzzer-beater.

He scored the final 12 points for the half for the Wolverines, and really woke up an offense that looked like it went to bed early.

As good as he was, Dickinson can’t be this team’s only source of offense, especially when February rolls around and they play Big Ten teams that are closer to him in size.

This team has a lot to work on

Michigan has to make some major improvements the next few weeks. They got matchups with Virginia, Kentucky and North Carolina in the next month. The way the Wolverines are playing right now, all three of those teams would wipe the floor with them.