In what many saw as a must-win game for the Michigan basketball team to make the NCAA Tournament, the Wolverines fell behind early and were never able to complete the comeback, losing to No. 16 Iowa, 71-61.
MVP: Jarrod Uthoff. Iowa’s Big Ten Player of the Year candidate certainly looked the part and then some Saturday, finishing with a game-high 29 points. From start to finish, the Wolverines had no answers for Uthoff, as the senior shot 11-of-19 from the field and 4-of-10 from 3. Uthoff had the answer to any Michigan run and also ended the game with six rebounds, four steals and even two blocks on defense.
It was over when… Michigan was playing from behind all game, but managed to trim the deficit to two in the first half before trialing b y double-digits in the second. The Wolverines mustered one final 8-0 run thanks to the 1-3-1 zone, but failed to capitalize offensively after it trailed by only six points. Eventually Uthoff finished the game off with an easy layup through a foul on Duncan Robinson that came off of a botched defensive look with the Wolverines trying to foul down six.
Key stat: .87 points per possession. Michigan’s defense wasn’t good, but its offense just couldn’t create enough points against the Iowa defense. The Wolverines’ shooters were missing, play makers were struggling and there just wasn’t enough offensive execution to compete with the Hawkeyes. Michigan was just 8-of-32 from three-point range and turned the ball over 11 times in the deflating defeat.