Just when Michigan looked like it had cast off its close-game curse, the Wolverines dropped a 91-87, double-overtime affair in Champaign. While the loss to Illinois surely hurts Michigan’s path to the NCAA Tournament, there were plenty of takeaways from Thursday’s performance.
Let’s get into it:
1. Hunter Dickinson’s 31-point night not enough to seal the deal
Any time a college basketball player drops 30 points is special. But unfortunately for Hunter Dickinson, his 31-point outing didn’t come paired with a win. As the heartbeat of Michigan’s offense, that kind of performance was needed to get the Wolverines within a couple of possessions of a hard-fought, drawn-out win. In fact, it almost got them the win in regulation.
With just four seconds on the clock, Dickinson took a hook shot that missed — one that would’ve been a back-to-back game-winner after his heroics against Wisconsin on Sunday. Even so, he followed up that miss with 12 of the Wolverines’ 17 overtime points. He also hauled in 16 rebounds all game to bring them within inches of a much-needed win.
“I don’t have to tell Hunter anything. All I have to tell him is, ‘hey, we’re going to you big fella,’ ” Michigan coach Juwan Howard said after the game. “So he delivers every time and that’s why I’m always in the trenches with Hunter Dickinson.”