The road to the Big Ten Title was not an easy one for the Wolverines. They lost star PG, and 2013 National Player of the Year, Trey Burke to the NBA. And following Burke’s decision, G Tim Hardaway JR. would also declare for the NBA.
So when Mitch McGary sat down and found out where he’d be chosen in the draft, McGary ultimately ended up staying in Ann Arbor. But little did he know, a chronic back injury would force him to miss the remainder of the year, and would leave a void in a Michigan program that looked like it was on the up-and-up. While the program appeared to be on the rise, the void would prove to be too much for Michigan to make an sort of run at a Big Ten banner, or so we were told.
Fast forward to March 8th, 2014, and people saw what little expected; Michigan cutting down the nets in honor of their Conference Championship.
The conference was won already, so the game against Indiana had close to nothing riding on it, but nets were still cut down at the Crisler Center in celebration.
Coach Beilien cutting down the net at The Crisler Center. (Photo Credit @UMichBBall)
The game was started off with a Jordan Morgan showcase. He scored 6 points quickly, and went after rebounds, and fought for position. He played about as well as he has at any point in his career, and it was fitting, Saturday was his last game ever in Ann Arbor.
Morgan finished with a double-double, scoring 15 points and 10 rebounds in the win, and really played well in the last game before the Big Ten Tournament. Having a presence at the rim on both phases of the game is huge, and if Morgan maintains that play, or even a shell of it, Michigan is in good shape for both tournaments.
Jordan Morgan in front of the UM Crowd (Photo Credit) @UMichBBall
Michigan’s other 3 key players played well, also, and contributed big minutes in the win. Glenn Robinson III had 20 points with 2 rebounds, and 2 assists. Potential Big Ten Player of the Year, Nik Stauskas added 21 points, 2 assists and 2 rebounds. And Caris LeVert chipped in with 13 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists.
Spike Albrecht clocked in 15 minutes and was also a big factor. He has elevated his game before the Wolverines prepare to go on their tournament run(s) later this month; and Spike will be a player that will help calm everyone down when situations get rough, and will be a leader when needed.
Michigan ultimately won the game 84-80 against Indiana, and finished the season 23-7 and won the Big Ten, as previously mentioned. The Wolverines closed it out with 6 straight free throws and sealed the deal in front of their home crowd.
Michigan has a bye in the Big Ten tournament, they are the one seed in that tournament. It will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana, and it could help determine where Michigan is placed in the NCAA tournament, likely a 2 or 3 seed as of today.