2023-24 Season

Game 26: Michigan State at Michigan Recap

Michigan hung with Michigan State on its home floor for 33 minutes but didn’t have enough in the tank to salvage a home upset over the Spartans. The Wolverines were outscored 10-0 over the final seven minutes to lose their 18th game of the season, 73-63.

It was another frustrating night for a team plagued by the same issues all season.

The Wolverines turned it over on 29% of their possessions, their worst turnover performance of the season. Those giveaways led directly to 27 of Michigan State’s 73 points. With the defeat, Michigan fell to 257th nationally in turnover rate after finishing 103rd or better every season since Tommy Amaker manned the sideline.

The Wolverines botched another free-throw box out in a critical situation when a front-end of a one-and-one turned into two free points for Malik Hall amidst a 2-point game with under six minutes to play. The same mistake ended Michigan’s NCAA Tournament hopes last year, cost them a buy game against Long Beach State, and has popped up seemingly every other game. It’s the sort of mistake that is maddening in November but unforgivable in February.

The Wolverines also mismanaged the final minute of the first half… again. With an opportunity to hold for the last shot, Dug McDaniel turned it over and committed a foul 40 feet from the basket with a half-second on the clock to give away two free points to a Michigan State walk-on. If that sounds familiar, you might remember Michigan throwing an errant alley-oop pass against Florida that led to a halfcourt buzzer-beater—another November mistake in February.

The box score and AP wire story will say that this game was lost in the final quarter when Michigan State ended things on a 10-0 run, but that’s far from the reality. Good teams value every possession, and this team just shows up for some.

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