Print and Go Back ESPN.com: College Basketball Nation [Print without images]

Friday, March 9, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Michigan 73, Minnesota 69

By Myron Medcalf



INDIANAPOLIS -- Reaction from Michigan's 73-69 overtime win over Minnesota in a Big Ten tournament quarterfinal game.

Overview: The Gophers led by as much as nine during an ugly first half that ended with Minnesota leading 23-20. The Gophers had a 20-10 rebounding advantage in the first half but only shot 33 percent from the field. Trey Burke scored 13 of Michigan's 20 points before halftime.

In the second half, the two teams traded buckets until the Gophers, a 10-seed, surged late and took a nine-point lead with less than four minutes to play. But Michigan would not go away.

Evan Smotrycz hit a late 3 that tied it with seconds on the game clock and ultimately sent the contest into overtime. Minnesota became the first team to play two overtime games in a single Big Ten tournament. They needed overtime to dismiss Northwestern on Thursday, too.

Friday’s game was a two-point affair with a minute to play in the extra period. But Burke’s layup with 33 seconds to go extended Michigan’s lead to four. The Wolverines went 4-for-4 from the charity stripe in the final 22 seconds of the game to seal the victory.

Turning point: Julian Welch hit back-to-back 3s that gave the Gophers a 52-45 advantage with 5:11 to play. Then, Rodney Williams flew down the court for an impressive dunk that drew “oohs” from the crowd at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and put the Gophers up by nine (54-45) on Minnesota’s next possession. Game over, right? Wrong. Michigan sent the game into overtime with a late push. Burke’s layup with 33 seconds remaining in overtime was just enough to give the Wolverines the four-point cushion it needed to finish off the Gophers.

Key player: Burke carried the Wolverines Friday. He scored 30 points and went 11-for-14 from the field.

Key stat: Michigan shot 24-for-49 from the field (49 percent).

Miscellaneous: The Wolverines were outrebounded 31-22 against Minnesota … The Gophers committed 16 turnovers … Freshman Andre Hollins scored 21 points one day after recording 25 against Northwestern.

What’s next: Michigan will play the winner of Friday night’s Purdue-Ohio State matchup in the semifinals Saturday. The Gophers will have to wait and see if they’re in the NIT. They did not make it last year. This could be their second consecutive year without a postseason.