That was a tough one to watch as the Wolverines fall to Notre Dame 70-63 in heartbreaking fashion in the 1st round of the NCAA tournament.
Michigan came out shooting the lights out, hitting half the shots they took in the first half from the 3 point line. Notre Dame also shot very well during the half but had a ridiculous amount of turnovers that Michigan turned into 14 points for Michigan. It was the best half of basketball the Wolverines had played all year, and it lead to a 41-29 lead going into half time.
At halftime, it looked like Coach Beilein was just coaching circles around Brey. During halftime though, Brey said something to the Irish to wake them up because in the second half, it was a completely different story. Notre Dame came out of the locker room and was on a mission. The Irish scored Michigan 41-22 in the 2nd frame thanks to VJ Beachem shooting the lights OUT. At certain points, it did not even seem like it was even possible for Notre Dame to miss.
The game went back and fourth for most of the second half but the real turning point had to be Wagner’s very questionable fourth foul at the 5 minute mark. Wagner went up strong for a layup but was called on an extremely questionable charge, when the call should have been an and 1. If the shooting foul was called Michigan would have had a shot to go up 3, shifting the momentum decisively towards the Wolverines. Instead, Wagner got his 4th foul and was taken out of the game, giving the Irish a huge swing in momentum. The Wolverines ended up having a shot to tie the game with 11 seconds left, but a questionable shot choice from Zak Irvin sealed the game.
Notre Dame finished the game shooting at a 58% clip from the field, and a phenomenal 53% from 3 point range. It is hard to beat any team shooting at those clips, especially a team whose shooting over 50% from beyond the arch.
This is a sad ending to a roller coaster season for the Wolverines. This game seemed to encompass the whole season for the Wolverines. They showed so much potential at points but ended up collapsing.
The Wolverines will have a quite a few players returning from a very young team this year. A much more experienced Wolverine team coming into next year will be a scary team to watch, that is if Beilein can find a big man. Wagner looks like he could be the guy, but he needs to add a little bit of size which he can do in the offseason. If Wagner can be the big man or Beilein can find one, then Michigan could be a very scary team heading into next year.
Photo Credit: Heavy.com
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