2019-20 Season

Michigan shows what it needs to be, and what it needs to do to get there

Franz Wagner and Isaiah Livers stood still. Their hands were on their heads. Around them, Oregon players were running past, back to their bench, shouting and screaming.

The scoreboard, at zeroes, was hard to digest, because Michigan basketball in recent years has not lost games like this at home. The Wolverines played poorly for the first half on Saturday. Then they pulled it back.

Franz Wagner and David DeJulius hitting ridiculous shots. Brandon Johns blocking shots and playing with energy. Zavier Simpson standing on the block M at center court after a full-court pass to Wagner cut the deficit to one late in the second half, engulfed in noise. An improbable buzzer-beater from Oregon’s Anthony Mathis being waved off after a review, a sigh of relief from the building, then a Wagner 3-pointer on the first possession of overtime. 

“Thought we had it,” Brandon Johns said.

It’s strange when a sense of inevitability is defeated.

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