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Hunter Dickinson’s buzzer-beater forces OT, Michigan defeats Wisconsin

The Wolverines got a much needed victory at just the right time.

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

Wolverines fans, you can finally breathe again.

In a heart-stopping contest on Sunday, the Michigan Wolverines needed a near-half court heave from Hunter Dickinson to take the game to overtime but dominated the subsequent five minute period, defeating the Wisconsin Badgers 87-79.

Here’s how the game played out:

First Half

The Badgers initially appeared to be in full control of the game, as besides for a brief 20-second period in the first five minutes of action the lead stayed firmly in their corner. Things went from bad to worse for the Wolverines coming out of the first media timeout, as Wisconsin went on a nine-point scoring run that put Michigan back almost eight points.

Just as it seemed like the game was getting away from the Wolverines, they sprung to life in a monster fashion. Over the course of almost nine minutes of game clock, Michigan went on a 17-5 scoring run that not only wiped the slate clean momentum-wise, but outright flipped the script to the tune of a six-point margin for the Wolverines.

Michigan wasn’t finished dominanting the half, as after Wisconsin cut the lead down to two, the Wolverines slammed the door shut once and for all with a nine-point run that provided a comfortable margin headed into the locker room.

Statistically, Hunter Dickinson led the Wolverines in both points and rebounds — scoring 12 points and grabbing four rebounds in the half.

Second Half and Overtime

While the Badgers out-scored Michigan to start the second half, it was by a razor thin 10-9 margin, and the Wolverines retained a respectable seven-point lead headed into the first media timeout. Unfortunately for Michigan, an 0-for-4 shooting slump coincided with a 5-for-7 Wisconsin shooting streak, allowing the Badgers to bring the margin to four points.

Despite an initial push back from the Wolverines, Wisconsin kept nipping at their heels and was able to bring it to just one possession going into a media timeout at the 10-minute mark. From there, the game was a back-and-forth shootout, with neither team being able to take a substantive lead headed into the final five minutes.

After a crucial missed layup by Kobe Bufkin in the final 10 seconds gave way to an intentional foul that put the Badgers up by three, the game looked done and dusted. With two seconds left on the clock, a risky inbound pass to Dickinson set up what could be at best described as a Hail Mary heave to tie the game.

Much to the elation of the crowd, that prayer was answered, as the heave got nothing but net and sent the game to overtime at 68.

In a highly offensive overtime period, Michigan seemingly couldn’t miss a shot to start out, shooting 4-for-5 to take a crucial three-point lead into the final minute of play. Dug McDaniel ultimately provided the dagger layup to close things out, as the Badgers couldn’t find an answer when they needed it. After all was said and done, the Wolverines emerged victorious.

Statistically, Bufkin finished as Michigan’s scoring leader in the contest with 28 points, while Dickinson finished as the Wolverines’ rebound leader with 10.

What’s next?

The Wolverines end their regular season on a doozy of a two-game road trip, with their first stop being in Champaign to face off against the Illinois Fighting Illini on Thursday, March 2. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST on ESPN.