It wasn't looking good when Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman fouled out an Michigan trailed Nebraska midway through overtime. But Duncan Robinson hit a big 3-pointer to put the Wolverines in front, adding a couple of late clutch free throws as Michigan was able to escape an overtime battle with Iowa with a 77-71 win.
It wasn't an easy watch for the Michigan faithful. The officiating was brutal. The Wolverines, who are among the best teams in the nation at not fouling, were called for 22 fouls this afternoon. In all fairness, the Hawkeyes were called for 24, though a lot of those came late in regulation and overtime when they were trying to send Michigan to the foul line.
Charles Matthews led the offensive attack with 15 points. Being cold from outside, the offense was able to rely on points in the paint, putting up 48 from in close.
The Wolverines went just 3-for-19 from beyond the arc and didn't get their first to fall until Robinson came through with back-to-back strikes from deep midway through the second half. As a team, Michigan had started 0-for-12.
The question now becomes whether Michigan can bounce back in time for tomorrow's quarterfinal showdown with Nebraska. The Cornhuskers received a double-bye in the conference tournament thanks in large part to a 20-point January win over the Wolverines that gave them the tiebreaker in conference seedings.
Michigan has now won at least one game in the Big Ten Tournament for 12 consecutive seasons.
Bohannon comes through for Iowa
Jordan Bohannon hit a 3-pointer with just over 13 seconds on the clock and Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman couldn't convert on a drive to the basket at the end of the game, sending Michigan and Iowa to overtime at at 67-67.
The Hawkeyes closed regulation on a 6-0 run, and with 20 seconds on the clock, Abdur-Rahkman couldn't convert the front end of a one-and-one, opening the door for Bohannon's heroics.
Wagner fouls out
Moe Wagner has fouled out but Michigan is still leading 63-57 with 4:01 left to play.
The Wolverines keep getting in done on the defensive end with a level of activity that has forced Iowa into tough shots throughout the second half.
Iowa can't make Michigan pay
Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Moe Wagner have each picked up their fourth fouls with just under 10 minutes remaining in the second half, but it hasn't caught up to Michigan yet.
With 6:52 remaining, the Wolverines lead 59-53.
The calls have been questionable at best. The refs seem hellbent on controlling the action on the floor today. Wagner went straight up on his fourth foul, making virtually no contact with the offensive player.
Duncan Robinson hit the first 3-pointer of the day after Michigan had started 0-for-12 from beyond the arc. He came back a minute later and hit another.
Iowa can't capitalize on Michigan's problems
The Wolverines may be 0-for-10 from beyond the arc and in foul trouble, but Iowa is having a hard time taking advantage.
The Hawkeyes are just 5-for-10 from the charity stripe and are shooting just 18 percent from the field in the second half as Michigan leads 53-46 at the 11:46 mark.
The Wolverines have an astonishing 42 points in the paint and are shooting 57 percent in the second half.
Foul trouble continues
Michigan's run stretched to 11-0 to start the second half, but the whistles are still proving to be a problem as the Wolverines have been called for six fouls less than four minutes into the second half.
That means the Hawkeyes are shooting free throws the rest of the way.
As it stands, Michigan still leads 48-42 with 15:43 remaining despite not having hit a 3-pointer.
Michigan off to a hot start in the second half
The Wolverines are off to an 8-0 run to start the second half and has taken a 43-40 lead at the 18:20 mark of the second half.
It all happened so quickly: Moe Wagner got things started by backing down his man and getting an easy bucket. Off a missed Iowa 3-pointer, Zavier Simpson went coast-to-coast for an easy lay-in that cut the Hawkeyes lead to one. Out in transition off another miss, Simpson found Isaiah Livers for a big, one-handed dunk that forced Iowa to call a timeout.
Hawkeyes lead at the half
Iowa is using the 3-pointer to take the fight to Michigan, who hasn't hit from beyond the arc and trails at halftime of its second round Big Ten Tournament game, 40-35.
The Hawkeyes were 5-for-9 from 3-point land, while the Wolverines were 0-for-7.
Foul trouble was an issue for Michigan in the first half as Moe Wagner, Muhammad Abdur-Rahkman and Duncan Robinson all watched the last few minutes of the first half from the bench with a pair of fouls. Iowa went on a 7-0 run just before the under-4 timeout to take a 33-31 lead with the Wolverines' big guns on the bench.
Abdur-Rahman, Isaiah Livers and Charles Matthews have seven points each to lead Michigan in scoring.
Luka Garza has 10 to pace the Hawkeyes.
UM bitten by foul trouble
Michigan is heading into the under-8 timeout with a 22-19 lead, but the fouls are starting to pile up.
Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Duncan Robinson each have a pair and the Hawkeyes are in the penalty with 7:50 remaining in the first half.
That's the bad news.
The good news is that the Wolverines are ahead in this game without the benefit of a single 3-pointer. They're 0-for-6 from beyond the arc, while Iowa is 3-for-6. If John Beilein's squad can hit a few from deep, Iowa will be facing quite the uphill battle.
Wolverines finding their footing
Michigan is using its defense to bounce back from a slow start. The Wolverines have four steals that have led to four points. They're also starting to run the offense with a little more focus.
The one problem Michigan is having when it isn't turning Iowa over is it's giving up open looks. The Hawkeyes are shooting 50 percent from the field, but Michigan still holds a 15-14 lead with 11:18 remaining in the first half
One thing to watch: Michigan has already been called for five fouls, compared to just one for the Iowa.
Iowa takes an early lead
Moe Wagner picked up an early foul and was promptly shown his seat as John Beilein wasn't going to take any chances with his star big man early on.
Charles Matthews' indecision on whether to dunk or lay it in on a pretty drive to the basket cost him an easy bucket early on. He did come back with a slam to tie things at 4-4, but Iowa answered with five straight.
At the 15:59 mark of the first half, Iowa leads 9-4.
MICHIGAN VS. IOWA
When: Thursday, 2:30 p.m.
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York
Records: Michigan 24-7, Iowa 14-18