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Michigan ends regular season with OT loss at No. 15 Indiana

In a season-deciding game, the Wolverines came up just short once again.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Indiana Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Though many games are described as “season-definers” in college basketball, it’s usually more embellishment than anything else.

For the Michigan Wolverines however, Sunday’s matchup against the No. 15 Indiana Hoosiers was quite literally a make or break moment. Despite taking the Hoosiers to overtime, the Wolverines came up just short once again in a 75-73 loss — feasibly popping the bubble once and for all.

Here’s how the game broke down for Michigan:

First half

The Wolverines started Sunday’s matchup about as rough as you can get — making just two of their first eight shots and allowing the Hoosiers to break out to a seven-point lead headed into the first media timeout. Though a pair of made jumpers cut the lead back to a single possession, the worst was yet to come for Michigan as a staggering eight consecutive misses gave Indiana yet another run, this time to the tune of a 14-point lead.

Fortunately for the Wolverines, the Hoosiers suddenly went on a cold streak of their own. Led by Kobe Bufkin and Hunter Dickinson, Michigan took advantage of Indiana’s shooting woes and went on a 14-2 run through the final four minutes of the half to cut the lead to just two points headed into a locker room.

Statistically, Dickinson led the Wolverines’ scoring and rebounding efforts at halftime with 12 points and five rebounds.

Second half and overtime

The spark Michigan got at the end of the first half carried into the second, as the Wolverines quickly evened the score and outright took the momentum. As Indiana took a timeout to get its bearings back, Michigan was on a seven-point hot streak, breaking out to a 42-34 lead.

Though the Wolverines were able to hit a high water mark of 11 points at the 6:00 mark, the Hoosiers were able to stick around and slowly chip away at Michigan’s lead, preventing the Wolverines from pushing it out any further before cutting the lead back to one possession with seven minutes to go. Despite having multiple chances to deal a lead-snatching blow however, Indiana seemed unable to convert on any of them, missing three consecutive lay up attempts in the final four minutes that would have flipped the score.

Though it seemed like a killer turnover by Dug McDaniel had given the Hoosiers the make they had so desperately been looking for, the Wolverines never quit and by the skin of their teeth managed to take Indiana to overtime. Unfortunately for Michigan, the overtime period went wire-to-wire in favor of Indiana and despite having a chance to win it at the buzzer, Kobe Bufkin turned it over and the Hoosiers escaped with a 75-73 victory.

Statistically, Dickinson finished the game as he started it, leading the Wolverines in both points and rebounds with 24 and 14, respectively.

What’s next?

It’s tournament time! Depending on the result of Northwestern vs. Rutgers Sunday evening, the Wolverines will either start their Big Ten Tournament campaign as the fifth seed against the winner of Wisconsin vs. Ohio State, or as the eighth seed against Rutgers. If they’re the fifth seed, tip-off is scheduled for noon EST on Thursday, March 9, with the eighth seed game starting 25 minutes following the conclusion of that. Both games will be on Big Ten Network.