Illinois 66, Michigan 51

As this game was drawing to a close, Paul asked me, “can we just stay at, like #26 all year?” It was a good wish, as it seems every time the Michigan basketball team has  had even a little pressure to perform, the team has failed to show up in a big game. First it was the home game against Wisconsin, then the Indiana near-debacle, and now this.

Of course, despite being the ranked team in the contest, Michigan wasn’t favored to win this game. Any Michigan fan expecting a victory was likely being a little too exuberant. Illinois is a good team, and beating them on their home court was probably a little too much to ask. Still, the way the game unfolded was disappointing. Michigan was able to at least play it even with the Illini throughout the first half, going into the break with a 1-point lead.

Then, the wheels came off. Michigan couldn’t hit a shot, various Illinois players got/remained hot (primarily Mike Tisdale), the Wolverines had trouble getting much of anything going on ofense, and ended up heading back to ann Arbor with a 15-point loss.

DeShawn Sims was a huge disappointment in this game, as he had a lot of trouble getting much of anything working. CJ Lee and David Merritt played more minutes than most Michigan fans were comfortable with, and Manny Harris did many of the frustrating things he’s developed as key parts of his game. Both freshmen were near-invisible, though Zack Novak did a good job rebounding from the 4 position against a much taller Illinois squad.

There were positives, however. On top of Novak’s inexplicable rebounding ability, there were flashes of aggressive brilliance from the defense, and Michigan managed to take a heavily favored team into the break with a lead. However, this Michigan team is now past moral victories, and needs to match effort with results.

UFR tomorrow afternoon.

Posted under Football

1 Comment so far

  1. Ann Arbor 1879 says...

    Manny Harris gets pissed by a missed call, jacks up contested three, makes silly foul, turns the ball over, gets even more frustrated and doesn’t get back on D. Manny needs to calm down and take what is there rather than forcing shit.

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