After making the NCAA tournament six straight years, the Michigan Wolverines will be watching the tournament from the couch. There was a long shot that the Wolverines would make the college basketball tournament but that’s all a distant memory after losing in the second round of the Big Ten tournament. An electric first half followed by a pathetic second half. All eyes will be on the NIT, maybe the Wolverines will get a chance to preserve their season.
Big Ten Tournament: Michigan Versus Rutgers
Michigan looked to have Rutgers number numerous times in the first half as the Wolverines shot a beautiful 48 percent from the field and held the Rutgers team to 29 percent. College Junior big man, Hunter Dickinson, played his best to help his team keep the game close. Michigan led the Scarlet Knights 28-25 after the first half. From there, everything went downhill for the maize and blue.
In the second half of the Big Ten college tournament, Rutgers’s defense looked like an all-star team after Michigan couldn’t get a bucket to fall. The Wolverines opened up the second half by shooting an abysmal one for 17 before finishing the game four for 21. Michigan couldn’t hit the buckets, from wide-open misses to the ball bouncing off the rim, nothing went right for the Wolverines. It was a game many wished to unsee. Rutgers took the victory over a favored Michigan team 62-50.
Michigan’s Men’s 2022-2023 College Basketball Team
After losing two all-star freshman recruits last season, Michigan was back at the drawing board this season. Power forward Moussa Diabate and shooting forward Caleb Houstan left the college after one year to pursue the NBA draft. Jett Howard, Juwann Howard’s son joined the Wolverines as a freshman starting guard. Jett, like many of his teammates, is young and still getting the feel for college-level basketball. If Michigan keeps Juwann as the head coach, the young squad of Jett Howard, Kobe Bufkin, Dug McDaniel, and Tarris Reed could become a terror of a team next season.
Big man Hunter Dickinson will have yet another decision to make this year as he questions staying for his senior year or gambling on the NBA draft. Dickinson was the only consistent playmaker for the Wolverines this season. He worked on his three-pointers and they were game-changers this season, one area that’ll greatly help his NBA draft resume. Freshman big man Tarris Reed would take over Dickinson’s spot if he chooses to leave college and pursue his future.
College Basketball: What’s Next?
With Michigan being knocked out of the Big Ten tournament, they will go back home to assess their loss and await Selection Sunday. With almost a zero chance of making the field of 68, the team will look ahead to the possibility of playing in the NIT. For Rutgers, they started the day as a play-in team but after the big win against the Wolverines, their resume gets a little better. They will play the Purdue Boilermakers on Friday in the third round.