Ignas Brazdeikis missed a layup and, amid a scramble, the ball fell to Charles Matthews. With two seconds to go he threw up a prayer from the left wing. Somehow, it went in, and after a lengthy review, it stood.
For everyone else, too, it had been a while since they’d made mistakes like that, been outplayed like that or lost like that. Other than a 62-60 scare in Evanston in early December, there hadn’t been any semblance of trouble all season. Now that they’ve hit some struggles, the Wolverines are better equipped to correct them.
Michigan was bound to lose sometime and here it was, a game full of offensive woes and turnovers and giving Wisconsin just a little too much room to get back into the game until finally, it cascaded in the Wolverines’ 64-54 loss. Michigan never led again.
Still, though, it’s a marked improvement from last season for Wisconsin, who went 15-18 in 2017-18 and missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 20 years. If the Badgers return to postseason play this season, it will be on the back of fifth-year senior forward Ethan Happ, a two-time All-Big Ten selection. The Daily sat down with Happ at Big Ten Media Day in October.
Michigan’s 80-60 win Sunday over Northwestern did not actually take place in a parallel universe. This was Jon Teske, all 85 inches and 260 pounds of him, doing exactly what many have long hoped he’d do.
“As far as the type of grit and determination he has. You put a challenge in front of Zavier Simpson and he’s gonna eventually win. Time will run out sometimes in life, but he will eventually win if there’s a big challenge in front of him. And so that’s what it is."