By beating Illinois on Tuesday, Michigan won the Big Ten outright, and in impressive fashion. Michigan went on the road to face an Illini team that had just upset Michigan State in their previous game, beating them on the road and holding them to just 46 points all game. A different Illinois team showed up Tuesday.
Since the opening tip, it looked like it could be a rout, and a rout it was. Nik Stauskas opened up the game with a 3 pointer, and the Wolverines never looked back.
That wasn’t the only 3 pointer by Michigan, far from it actually; Michigan had a school record sixteen (16-23 from 3) three pointers. They tied the record set earlier this season when they played Houston Baptist, I’m still trying to figure out if that’s a college, or a high school team that was in over it’s head. I’m kidding. Kind of.
Stauskas had 24 points, Glenn Robinson III had 13 points and 5 rebounds, and Caris LeVert added 15 points and 4 boards. All 3 played well, and they will be the key cogs in this machine if they plan on replicating last season’s tournament run.
It’s fun to watch this group, and what is impressive about them is that they are doing it without their best player. Mitch McGary was ruled out for the foreseeable future, and Michigan has still performed. They are a selfless team, and they are a group that continues to improve. If they can continue playing at this high of a level, another deep tournament run is possible. But, they need to maintain the “one game at a time” mentality, and that’s when they will be the most dangerous.
Coach Beilien has this team playing great, and a lot of the success should be credited to him, his staff, and his development of players. He is becoming a staple of the University of Michigan, and it is beginning to show.
Michigan plays Indiana March 6th at the Crisler Center, and likely will cut down the net in front of their home fans.
(The Michigan basketball team and Coach Beilien receiving the Big Ten Trophy. Photo credit to @umichbball)