Men's Basketball

Charles Matthews scored 16 second-half points as Michigan beat Wisconsin 61-52 on Saturday.

Three weeks ago in Madison, Michigan’s undefeated season lay in the balance of a one-point game with seven minutes to play. That time, the Wolverines’ offense wilted, scoring just 10 points over the remainder of the gane and falling, 64-54, at the hands of the Badgers.

Ethan Happ was frustrated as Michigan beat Wisconsin by playing a similar style to the Badgers.

Ethan Happ grabbed the collar of his jersey, brought it to his face and clenched it with his teeth. His head slumped, his hands covered his neck as he shuffled to the end of the Wisconsin handshake line.


With time winding and the crowd at its crescendo, it was Matthews again, bouncing a few feet in front of the free throw line and nailing another jumper, extending the lead to seven. It would prove decisive as No. 7 Michigan (22-2 overall, 11-2 Big Ten) found its way to a 61-52 win over No. 19 Wisconsin (17-7, 9-4).

Redshirt junior wing Charles Matthews scored 11 points on Tuesday against Rutgers.

It’s no coincidence the Wolverines have lost in two of Matthews' three worst performances by offensive rating, nor should it surprise that their offense has generally lagged when he has struggled. The reason behind that is simple. When Michigan’s offense lags, it falls back on Matthews. In turn, Matthews falls back on contested midrange jump shots, which don’t do much for anyone.

That’s why, as the Wolverines jumped out to an early lead on as part of a 77-65 win over Rutgers on Tuesday night, their offense humming, it was Matthews greasing the skids.

Junior point guard Zavier Simpson .

Knocking down open shots was one part of the equation, but getting them in the first place was just as important. The Daily took to the tape to look at what went into the Wolverines’ best offensive performance in nearly a month.

Freshman forward Ignas Brazdeikis scored the game's first points with a three.

PISCATAWAY — Despite his team’s 21-2 record and top-10 national ranking, Michigan coach John Beilein has cast a frustrated figure for much of the last month.


PISCATAWAY — Geo Baker stood dead center, well beyond the arc, and fired for three.

The shot landed to cap off an 8-0 run, and with just over three minutes left in the first half, Michigan’s lead was down to single digits for the first time since the under-16 timeout.

Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell faces a massive challenge in building the Scarlet Knights.

In March 2016, Rutgers turned to Pikiell to spearhead a near-impossible rebuilding project.

At his introductory presser, Pikiell said he would’ve walked across the New Jersey Turnpike to get the job.

Michigan coach John Beilein said after the game that he didn't know who would step up as the backup center.

Maybe what happened Friday was less a mirage and more a preview of what’s to come.

Maybe we’ll look back on Friday night and remember when Iowa found the end of a proverbial thread and the rest of Michigan’s season began to unravel.


Without Teske, the Hawkeyes feasted, turning a defense that came into Iowa City ranked first in the nation into one befitting of a Beilein team of old. They scored 22 times in the paint in the first 20 minutes, grabbing 26 rebounds to Michigan’s 12. For 19 of those minutes, Teske sat on the bench, watching the margin climb