Michigan Finally Beats Ohio State (In Basketball)

By · Monday, February 18, 2008 · 4:11 AM |  Share | 10 Comments 

Michigan hasn’t had any luck against Ohio State on the football field or the basketball court in recent memory. The Buckeyes have completely owned the Wolverines in both sports these last few years and really showed no signs of letting up anytime soon. Thankfully, though, the basketball losing streak has ended as Michigan beat Ohio State yesterday 80-70.

This win over the Buckeyes is Michigan’s third straight overall. That means it’s the Wolverines’ third straight Big Ten win, which is something that hasn’t happened since early 2006. The win over OSU is by far the most impressive of the season and showed that this team is improving every game.

After a first half that went back and forth for 20 minutes and resulted in a 38-38 tie, the second half favored the Wolverines. The lead didn’t come easily, but thanks to a collective effort on both the offensive and defensive ends, Michigan put together a few runs to take over this game. Ohio State didn’t give up and cut a near double digit lead down to only a couple points, but Michigan kept at it and pulled away. Thanks to clutch free throw shooting by Manny Harris and a couple others, Michigan held on to its lead and sealed the deal with a great defensive stop to go on to win 80-70.

Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims had the best game out of anyone on the floor with 27 and 22 points respectively, but it was the other players that really stepped up to get this victory. Anthony Wright continued his surprisingly great play; Kelvin Grady played another solid game; and even David Merritt had a career game. Merritt left in the second half with what appeared to be a knee injury, but before that he was putting together an amazing game. He drove to the hoop on multiple occasions, drained a three-pointer, and set up his teammates for a few open looks as well.

Michigan’s 80-70 win came in front of a sold-out Crisler Arena. This was by far the best crowd of the season in more ways then one. The Maize Rage was actually filled and was loud all game. And then the rest of the crowd was just as rowdy, likely because Ohio State was the opponent. Around 100 of those rowdy fans were from Ohio State and had seats up in the nosebleeds. They actually started a “Tressel” chant during Rich Rodriguez’s speech at halftime, but Rodriguez just laughed it off by saying that he hoped they enjoyed their seats.

What makes this win so great is that it shows everyone just how much this team has improved. I would say the poster child for that is Anthony Wright, who has found his role on this team by becoming a three-point specialist. Similarly, big man DeShawn Sims is draining three’s on a regular basis now. He had four against OSU and is one of the best on this team from behind the arc. And what can be said about David Merritt? Many fans have wondered at times why he was even getting any playing time, but today’s performance definitely answered those questions.

Perhaps the best moment from the win came after the game had ended. The students rushed the court in celebration of the “W” and got to have a good time at a basketball game for a change. Normally I would criticize the students for rushing the court after a win against an unranked team, but I can’t blame them at all given the circumstances. I look at beating OSU as a type of moment where you just say “finally” and let out a sigh of relief. For the team, they finally beat OSU. For the students, they finally had a reason to celebrate.

Michigan will look for its fourth straight win on Thursday at Minnesota. Tip-off is set for 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

(For highlights of this game, click here)

10 Comments

  1. mrnotebook says:

    Yeah,that was a good game.I am glad they, finally beat the Buckeyes.And also glad to hear Michigan will be on Tv, again on Thursday.I will be watching!

  2. mrnotebook says:

    Also, As I just learned.Michigan Wolverines, could still make it to the Ncaa Tournament, if they win the Big Ten Championship.It’s hard to do but they could do that and still get into the Tournament! So Michigan does still have a good chance!

  3. From The Barn says:

    Perhaps the most pathetic court rushing in the history of college basketball. If only Ohio State was an NCAA tournament caliber team, or ranked….in the top 3.

    If we beat Michigan this week, I promise you we will act like we have won before.

  4. Tim says:

    Uh, that wasn’t “Tressel” they were chanting.

  5. mgoblue100 says:

    Dude, there were like 10 people that went onto the court late, and then others just followed them and started cheering. It wasn’t that big of a deal, so unless you actually were there, you shouldn’t talk, ever. And seriously stfu, we’ve won like 8 games total this season, and this one was against a major rival. God forbid we get excited about the little bit we’ve been allowed to be excited for this season. Idiot.

  6. mgoblue100 says:

    Not to mention, this is coming from a fan of a team that lost to this specific OSU team by 16. Nice. We’re a crappy team…what’s your excuse?

  7. Chris in NC says:

    As I said before, you can really see the improvement this year. Looking forward to next year.

  8. Big Blue says:

    mrnotebook,

    Let’s try to stay realistic here. I am thrilled with how we are improving each week, but it is very unlikley that we will make the NCAA or the NIT. Beating OSU was awesome, but they are the 4th or 5th best team in the Big Ten at best. With UM’s lack of depth and talent to a certain degree (after Harris and Sims, our talent dropoff is HUGE), I just don’t see us winning the Big Ten Tourney, especially with the top teams having a bye. Purdue and Indiana seem to be the teams to beat right now. I hope you are right!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    That’s one big smile Beilein has in the picture. Wonder if the baskeball win was teh only thing on his mind?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Haahaa, I love the part were you said that the Buckeyes have owned you in the past few years becuase it is true!!! Yeah, so you got lucky, that the buckeyes had one bad game but we will own you later!! I will say that you played hard and Sims had a good game. Although the Bucks are now NIT Champs and have a shot at going somewhere next year. Way to gentlmenly in the recriuting by the way. Rough year ahead. GO BUCKS!!!!!!!!!! NICE SITE BY THE WAY, YOU NEED ALL THE SUPPORT THAT YOU CAN GET!

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