Eighth-ranked Michigan suffered a heartbreaking loss yesterday afternoon as number-two Indiana escaped with a 72-to-71 win in Ann Arbor. With the victory, Indiana captured the Big Ten Conference regular season championship outright for the first time since 1993. Michigan had a shot at a share of the conference title, but instead settles for the fifth seed in the upcoming Big Ten Tournament. The Wolverines handed the Hoosiers the win by failing to close it out at the free throw line. Michigan led 71-to-66 with 52 seconds remaining, but then
Tim Hardaway, Junior and Trey Burke both missed the front end of one-and-one opportunities and eventually Indiana center Cody Zeller scored the go-ahead basket with 13.7 seconds left. Burke then missed a shot and Jordan Morgan’s tip-in attempt that could have won it for the Wolverines saw the ball roll around the rim and off with 4 second left and Indiana grabbed the rebound to seal the outcome. Zeller ended with a game-high 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while Burke netted 20 points for the Wolverines, who were trying to go undefeated at home for the first time in 36 years.
Michigan will face Penn State Thursday in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. The Wolverine’s loss also cost Michigan State and Ohio State a chance to share the league crown. Last night in East Lansing, the tenth ranked Spartans beat Northwestern 71-to-61 with Keith Appling leading MSU with 16 points. Michigan State will have the third seed and a first-round bye in the upcoming conference tournament with the Spartans on Friday facing the winner of Iowa vs. Northwestern. The number-two seed goes to Ohio State with the number-14 Buckeyes yesterday beating Illinois 68-to-55.