On Senior Night in Ann Arbor, the Wolverines faced the Iowa Hawkeyes in an extremely important matchup regarding their NCAA Tournament hopes. With a win, Michigan would’ve likely gotten a tournament bid, but U-M couldn’t hold out. After a well fought first half, the wolverines came up short in the second half, ultimately losing 71-61. Michigan will most likely end up playing in the NIT this postseason.
After Junior Forward Zak Irvin started the game off with a 3-0 lead, the Wolverines wouldn’t lead for the remainder of the half. Going into the first TV timeout, the Wolverines were flat with a ten point deficit. There was no momentum on the court with four bench players out. Irvin, Walton, and Robinson all missed coming down the stretch, but a Donnal 3 with 8 minutes remaining gave Michigan a huge boost while down 18-22. Woodbury came back to hit a layup for the Hawkeyes, but Walton answered the call with a big three pointer, and the momentum started to shift. Mohammed-Ali Abdur-Rahkman hit a layup that topped a 11-2 Michigan run, and everyone in the crowd was on their feet. The half concluded with an ugly stretch of missed layups on both sides, 36-30. Jarrod Uthoff, the Wooden Award candidate, had 16 0f Iowa’s 36 points. Michigan was an ice cold 5-19 from 3.
The second half kicked off with a Three pointer by Clemmons, giving Iowa a 39-30 lead. Two scoreless possessions for both sides ended with two Iowa layups after Duncan Robinson missed a layup and forced a turnover. The next time around for Michigan’s inconsistent offense resulted in two missed put backs by Doyle, but a kickout to Zak Irvin for a 3 gave U-M life, 36-43. Duncan Robinson, who shot horrendously from 3pt land all night, misses a three, which was then rebounded and kicked to Walton for a three. Iowa’s Clemmons answers immediately with a field goal. Iowa lead 49-42 going into a TV timeout. After an Irvin Miss, Jarrod Uthoff hits a mid range jumper, giving Iowa a 9 point lead. The next possession, Walton turned the ball over leading to an Iowa breakaway dunk, giving the Hawkeyes the largest lead of their night (11). Later on in the half, Michigan started to surge on a 10-0 run that brewed from a switch to a 1-3-1 zone on defense. That run wouldn’t be enough for the Wolverines though, as Gesell steals the ball from Irvin, and Michigan lost all of the momentum they had just gained. As U-M starts to foul late while they are down 6, Uthoff hit a huge and one layup that ultimately sealed the deal for Iowa. The game concluded 71-61, and Michigan finished its season off losing 4 out of its final 5 games. Jarrod Uthoff had one of the most impressive outings of his career with 29 points and 7 rebounds. Derrick Walton Jr. impressed with 14 points and 5 boards.