Men's Basketball

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Ultimately, No. 7 Michigan (26-5 overall, 15-5 Big Ten) could only watch as No. 9 Michigan State (23-6, 16-4) seized the title for itself, collapsing in the second half and falling 75-63.

Sophomore guard Jordan Poole realized Minnesota beat Purdue on Tuesday when teammates texted the group chat.

All of a sudden, there was this lifeline, a second chance. All of a sudden, Saturday at the Breslin Center will mean everything for both teams. Whichever one wins will earn at least a share of the conference.

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To hear the Wolverines talk about attacking the Spartans’ ball-screen defense is to hear a team that has, in the last two weeks, thought critically and deeply about just that. As he sat at that table, Jordan Poole walked any reporter lucky enough to be within earshot step-by-step through attacking a switch.

Michigan coach John Beilein's teams have traditionally peaked in March.

On Nov. 14, Michigan went to Villanova and hammered the defending national champions by 27. Ironically — or predictably, depending on how familiar you are with John Beilein — the Wolverines’ coach was the one pumping the brakes.

Michigan and Michigan State will play Saturday with a share of the conference title on the line.

Michigan plays Michigan State on Saturday. A share of the conference title is on the line — an outright title should Purdue lose at Northwestern earlier in the day. The last time that happened was 1966, 52 years of hate ago.

It's March! From Theo's living room, The Daily talks about Michigan's win over Maryland and what comes next.

It's March! From Theo's living room, The Daily talks about Michigan's win over Maryland and what comes next.

Junior point guard Zavier Simpson scored 12 points with 10 assists in Michigan's 69-62 win over Maryland on Sunday.

At every point where it seemed the Wolverines might lose momentum on Sunday, there was Simpson, their steadying force. He finished with 12 points, 10 assists and one missed shot from the field. Three separate times, he hit hook shots that prompted cries of disbelief from the crowd. For the second time in as many weeks, he locked Maryland point guard Anthony Cowan in a box.

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For all the achievements No. 9 Michigan (26-4 overall, 15-4 Big Ten) earned in its 25-4 start, that’s not something that its head coach has often been able to say away from the Crisler Center. But Saturday afternoon the Wolverines beat No. 17 Maryland (21-9, 12-7), 69-62, to notch the signature road win that had eluded them since beating Villanova in mid-November.

Freshman center Colin Castleton scored 11 points and broke into the rotation against Nebraska on Thursday.

Last Thursday in Minneapolis, freshman forward Colin Castleton stood in a cramped hallway outside the visiting locker room as reporters attempted to swarm Jordan Poole. Only Poole wouldn’t let them, forcing each reporter to ask Castleton a question before they could talk to him.

Sophomore forward Isaiah Livers recorded a double-double in his first start of the season.

As it turned out, Beilein didn’t need to worry. Livers forced Palmer into tough shots and held him to seven points on 3-of-15 shooting, a performance so poor that Nebraska coach Tim Miles left him on the bench to start the second half.

And from when Matthews walked in wearing a walking boot Wednesday at practice — making it clear that Livers would be filling in — Livers’ hunger was apparent.