Last night Crisler Center was packed to the brim with students and fans filling the seats to watch the Michigan Basketball team go on a “Revenge Tour” of their own. The Wolverines got off to a rough start leaving an uneasy feeling within Crisler. Trailing North Carolina 11-21 halfway through the first half, the team stepped up the intensity and got into their groove. Brazdeikis took it upon himself to minimize their deficit with 6 points in less than 30 seconds.
As the first half was wrapping up, the crowd experienced a very familiar sight. The Michigan defense forced a UNC turnover in which sophomore guard Jordan Poole got the ball. With 2 seconds left on the clock he sunk a 3 pointer. His famous buzzer beater shot last year in the March Madness tournament against Houston flashed across every fan’s mind as the crowd roared out of their seats. The Wolverines ended the half leading 39-37. Despite the lead, the team was falling short shooting free throws, shooting only 40% in the first half compared to UNC’s first half 100%. Although a small aspect of the game, increasing that percentage could make a big difference in future games.
During the second half, a new team stepped out of the locker room. A flashy display of scoring got the fans off their seats and loud. With Iggy and Poole shooting two three-pointers in the first three minutes the tide seemed to pull toward the Wolverines. A dunk by Jon Teske increased Michigan’s lead to over 10 points, which was all the team needed to get the ball rolling. They strengthened their defense, holding the Tar Heels to 30 points lower than their points per game average, although the defense did allow more points than normal by their standards.
Key players of the game were Iggy Brazdeikis with 24 points, and Charles Matthews with 21 points, scoring a combined 45 points. They also led defensive rebounds with 5 each and while Matthews racked up 2 offensive rebounds. The part they played in their 84-67 win last night gives the team momentum going into their game against the Purdue Boilermakers on Saturday at Crisler Center. With this win bumping their record to a perfect 7-0 they are ranked 1st in the Big Ten after Ohio State and Michigan State’s losses last night.