INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana’s players looked stunned and frustrated. Again.
After winning 15 conference games, their second outright title since 2013 and completing a perfect season on their home court, the Hoosiers figured they were finally primed for a deep run in this year’s Big Ten Tournament.
They didn’t even win a game. Kameron Chatman made a 3-pointer from the corner with 0.2 seconds left Friday to send Michigan past No. 10 Indiana in the quarterfinals - and the Hoosiers home.
“It’s been a long time since we have come off the corners to give up a shot,” coach Tom Crean said. “We don’t leave the corners. We control the ball. We step up and stick.”
This time, they didn’t do that on back-to-back possessions and Michigan (22-11) made them pay with two 3s - one to tie the score at 69 with 46 seconds and the other to win it.
Even though Troy Williams scored 16 points, Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell added 14, O.G. Anunoby scored a career-high 13 and Thomas Bryant finished with 13 points and seven rebounds, the Hoosiers couldn’t overcome 15 turnovers. The last one came with 19.9 seconds to play and prevented Indiana (25-7) from having a chance to break the 69-all tie.
“We’ve got take care of the ball and not make home-run plays,” Ferrell said. “This whole season, I felt like we haven’t tried to make the home-run plays, we tried to make the extra pass and that’s really helped us. I hope we can learn from this.”
Chatman might have been the unlikeliest shooter on the court for the Wolverines.
His season stat line coming into the game: 26 of 63 from the field, 7 of 27 on 3s, 69 points.
So when he took only two shots in the first 39 minutes, it looked like this game was right in line with the way he played all season.
Instead, when Derrick Walton Jr. dribbled to his right and found Chatman in front of the Michigan bench, the 6-foot-8 swingman took the shot over Nick Zeisloft, who was a smidge late on the closeout. The basket set off a wild celebration that was briefly halted when the officials put 0.2 seconds back on the clock.
“I knew I was going to be in the corner and I told myself I was going to be ready to shoot it,” he said. “I hesitated just a little bit but then seeing how much time was on the clock and I let it go and it felt good when it left my hand. It was pretty good.”
There wasn’t even enough time for Indiana (25-7) to get a shot off.
Zak Irvin led Michigan with 15 and Chatman finished with five.
In the only previous meeting between the teams this season, Indiana beat Michigan 80-67. Though the final score didn’t reveal the extent of the blowout, the game swung on the Hoosiers’ 28-0 run. When that run didn’t come Friday, it was almost even. There were 18 lead changes and 12 ties, and neither team led by more than six. The biggest run by either team was a 9-0 spurt by Michigan midway through the second half.
Indiana didn’t just commit turnovers. Michigan scored off the miscues, too. The Wolverines wound up with a 22-13 advantage in points off turnovers even though the Hoosiers outscored Michigan by nine on fast-break points and had a 37-25 advantage in rebounding.
MAKING THE CASE
Heading into this week, conventional wisdom was that Michigan was on the outside of the 68-team NCAA Tourney field. But after winning twice in Indy, including a win over the Hoosiers, the question now is whether the Wolverines have done enough? They’re just 3-4 in their last seven games with two of the wins coming against Northwestern. But Friday’s win certainly makes their cases much stronger.
Wolverines: Irvin, Indiana’s 2013 Mr. Basketball, made his first 3 of the game, giving him 500 career 3-point attempts. He now has 503. … Coach John Beilein moved within three wins of tying Bill Frieder (191) for the second most wins in school history.
Hoosiers: Made four 3s, giving Indiana 316 this season. The Hoosiers need four to break the school record, which was set last season. … Ferrell played in his 134th career game, leaving him one short of Jordan Hulls’ school record (135). … Max Bielfeldt, the only player in league history to win championships with two different schools, had seven points and three rebounds against his former team. … Robert Johnson sat out again with a sprained left ankle.
Wolverines: Face winner of Illinois-Purdue game in Saturday’s first semifinal game.
Hoosiers: Will await postseason tournament fate.
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