Michigan basketball blows 17-point lead to Indiana, leaving NCAA Tournament hopes in doubt

Wolverines finish season with 17-14 record

Michigan forward Moussa Diabate (14) and Indiana forward Race Thompson (25) go for a loose ball in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big Ten Conference tournament in Indianapolis, Thursday, March 10, 2022. (Michael Conroy, The Associated Press 2022)

INDIANAPOLISMichigan basketball blew a 17-point lead over Indiana in the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday and failed to capitalize on an opportunity to solidify its position in the NCAA Tournament.

The Wolverines got off to a fast start in Juwan Howard’s return from a five-game suspension, building an early lead and maintaining it rather easily for the first three-quarters of the contest.

But the tide turned with about 13 minutes left. Hunter Dickinson missed a layup that would have given Michigan a 19-point lead, and Xavier Johnson responded by drilling a transition three-pointer to cut the deficit to 14.

What happened over the next 12 minutes was a total disaster for the Wolverines. They surrendered a 28-4 run to the Hoosiers and trailed by seven points. A late 5-0 run offered one final breath of life, but an unforced turnover with 10 seconds remaining squashed Michigan’s last hope.

Now, with a 17-14 record, the team will be left to sweat out its NCAA Tournament status. While Michigan has a handful of impressive victories, the sheer number of losses is glaring. Even if they make the dance, the Wolverines will likely have to play their way into the round of 64 as part of the First Four.

Michigan finished the season alternating wins and losses in each of its last 10 games.

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Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.