Michigan wins the Big Ten tournament for the second straight season.
The fifth-seeded Wolverines slayed the giants of the conference to punch their automatic ticket to the NCAA tournament, beating top-seeded Michigan State in the semifinals and earning a 75-66 win against Purdue in the finals.
Michigan focused on shutting down Purdue’s shooters and let senior center Isaac Haas get his in the paint. Haas finished with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting, but Purdue hit only 3-of-14 shots from deep on the afternoon.
Junior big man Mo Wagner was the star for the Wolverines, finishing with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field. Backup big man Jon Teske added 14 points in the win.
Michigan heads into the NCAA tournament on fire as winners of nine straight. The Wolverines will have 11 or 12 days off before their first round game because of the Big Ten’s decision to play its conference tournament a week early so it could be set in Madison Square Garden.
Will that long layoff cool down Michigan? Can the Wolverines pick up where they left off when the NCAA tournament begins? We’ll know for sure when the NCAA tournament begins its round of 64 play on March 15.
What does Michigan do well?
Michigan is always known for its offense. The stats back that up: for the last six seasons, the Wolverines have posted a better offensive efficiency than defensive efficiency.
That changed this season. Michigan enters the tournament as the No. 6 defense in the country, a shocking ranking given that the Wolverines give up size for shooting and balling handling throughout the lineup.
Michigan’s biggest strength? Limiting threes. Opponents only take 30.2 percent of their shots from behind the arc against Michigan, which is the ninth fewest in DI.
Michigan also has a legit star in Wagner, the type of stretch five every program would love to have. Charles Matthews and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman have also developed into a pair of solid two-way wings this season.
What seed can Michigan expect?
Michigan is currently projected as a No. 3 seed. It’s possible they now end up with a No. 2 seed.
(c) SBNation.com – All Posts – Read entire story here.