MI downs Wisconsin to win Big Ten title

MI downs Wisconsin to win Big Ten title

MI downs Wisconsin to win Big Ten title

Derrick Walton Jr. has 14 points for MI, while Zak Irvin has nine and D.J. Walton and Mo Wagner have seven each.

Not all hope is lost, though: Tomorrow, the 'Cats will nearly certainly get their first bid to the NCAA Tournament, keeping alive the best season in the program's history.

As the game ended, Walton went down on one knee, totally overcome with emotion. Will they right the ship before the start of the NCAA Tournament?

"People can have bad days and miss shots, but we know somebody's there who will carry us", Michigan's Moritz Wagner said.

The Wolverines began their journey with a scary skid off the airport runway in MI. MI does test you in different ways.

And then, the emotion hit him.

"We're going to be fine", Collins said.

This game was a living highlight reel.

"It means so much to all of us", guard Zak Irvin said.

There was Walton assisting Zak Irvin for a basket.

In what has become an almost-annual tradition since Larranaga took over the program six years ago, Hurricane players, coaches, cheerleaders, fans, and the pep band gathered at the campus Rathskeller bar to await their fate.

MI didn't look at all like the team that was playing its third game in three days Saturday. There is an unselfishness about this group. "We start looking forward to the next game we play". The only questions were what they'd be seeded, where they are going and their opening opponent.

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And it's been evident in every game since the Wolverines' late arrival Thursday morning at the Verizon Center.

They were pretty good when the season began and they defeated Marquette and SMU on consecutive nights in November.

Both of these teams came into this tournament on different trajectories. MI advanced to play the victor of Northwestern/Wisconsin at 3 p.m. Sunday in the title game. And both of these teams had different experiences at this tournament.

And the celebration will continue when MI hops on a plane for the second time since the crash with a championship trophy from a tournament they nearly missed.

But Michigan might be the most vexing team of all to defend. They even wanted to keep playing in those reversible practice jerseys despite their luggage arriving a day later.

Just fine, thanks to Walton, the best player on the court.

McIntosh hit 10 of 23 shots and recorded 25 points and seven assists in the first meeting with UW.

MI shot 59 percent from the field in the first half, including 7 of 13 from 3-point range. The Badgers outscored Minnesota 39-20 in the second half.

But Michigan cooled off.

MI led for much of Saturday's contest, jumping out to a 15-5 advantage and continuing in front 47-36 at halftime.

"We have been here before", Koenig said. U-M averages 74.9 points per game on offense this season while allowing 65.8 on defense. He made all three of his three-point shots, including one at the halftime buzzer. MI responded, scoring six straight and 10 of the last 15 points of the half to hold a double-digit lead at halftime. And it still amazes me that among our most popular guests is Jason Colthorp, the former WILX-TV news anchor who draws laughs whenever he offers his imitation of me.

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