Braden Fracassi ‘23, Social Media Manager
Disappointing performances came from both teams in Michigan during the Big Ten Tournament on March 10-12. The University of Michigan (U of M) entered the tournament as an eighth seed as they took on ninth-seeded Rutgers in the first round. With the team’s previous successes in the tournament, people were expecting them to pull this one out.
The game kicked off, and Michigan came out hot taking a quick 9-2 lead in the opening minutes of the game. Michigan’s momentum then slowed, and only had a three-point lead going into half, 28-25. The second half, however, took a turn for the worse. Rutgers really turned up their defense, and it resulted in poor play from Michigan. Rutgers forced Michigan to shoot 4 for 21, which is 19 percent in the second half of this game, and the Scarlet Knights came out on top 62-50. Rutgers lost in the next round to the Purdue Boilermakers, who ended up winning the tournament.
The next day, fourth-seed Michigan State took on 13-seed Ohio State. Ohio State had been making a run in the tournament as they knocked out Wisconsin, Iowa, and were now trying to complete another upset against the Spartans. The Buckeyes came out firing and led the entire first half and took a 9-point lead into the half, 33-24. Michigan State never recovered from that first half as nothing changed in the second half. Ohio State still controlled the game from the tip to the very end, as they finished the game with a win, 68-58. Ohio State pulled off this upset but could not get past the next round as they lost to the Big Ten Champions, the Purdue Boilermakers.
March Madness got started on March 14, and Michigan did not make the cut. . This is the first time since 2015, and this ends their run of making it to six straight Sweet Sixteens.
They did accept the Invite to the National Invitation Tournament, as junior center Hunter Dickinson said, “We weren’t able to reach one of our goals and play in the NCAA Tournament. However, we have another chance to get out there.”
Michigan State did make March Madness as a seventh seed, and they will take on 10-seed Southern California in the first round. This will make it the 25th year in a row in which the Spartans have made March Madness. Senior Brayden DeMay said, “It’s very nice having a team in the tournament every year. I think the Spartans are ready to make a big run in the tournament.”