NEW YORK — Iowa had a chance to be a Cinderella story at the Big Ten Tournament, but the No. 12-seeded Hawkeyes were denied a trip to the quarterfinals after a 76-71 overtime loss to No. 5-seeded Michigan on Thursday at Madison Square Garden.
The stars seemed aligned when the Hawkeyes were given new life from poor Michigan free-throw shooting late in regulation. A long, clutch 3-pointer from Jordan Bohannon in the waning seconds forced the extra period.
Despite blowing it at the end of regulation, Michigan (25-7) did just enough in overtime to end Iowa’s season at 14-19.
WHY: Michigan was up 67-61 but did not score during the final 2 minutes of regulation, allowing Iowa to tie it and send the game to overtime.
Iowa’s defensive struggles that hampered the Hawkeyes all season were again on display. The offense also stagnated in the beginning of the second half, mustering 10 points in the first 10 minutes. That is when Michigan went on a quick 8-0 run out of halftime, setting the tone for the rest of the game.
The Wolverines held the lead for almost the entire second half, seeming to respond to each Iowa basket with one of their own. A Charles Matthews 3-pointer with 2:09 left in regulation gave Michigan a 67-61 lead.
Iowa’s Nicholas Baer hit a 3-pointer with 59 seconds remaining to cut the lead to 3. It stayed that way until Michigan’s Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman missed the front end of a 1-and-1. Bohannon tied the score with 9 seconds left with his clutch triple.
HAWKEYES LEAD EARLY: Iowa finished the first half on a 14-4 run to take a 40-35 lead at halftime. Michigan missed all 7 of its attempts from 3-point range in the first 20 minutes, while Iowa made 5 of 9 shots from beyond the arc.
The Hawkeyes got to the free-throw line 41 times — and made 33 — in the opening round against Illinois. But against Michigan, Iowa attempted 18 free throws and made 10. But the Hawkeyes succeeded in getting Michigan into significant foul trouble (Moritz Wagner, Abdur-Rahkman fouled out). Despite that, Iowa could not pull off the upset.
Michigan’s free-throw issues almost cost it the game. The Wolverines finished 18 of 32 from the charity stripe.
WHAT IT MEANS: Iowa’s season is over. Even though the Hawkeyes put up a good fight, the result is as disappointing as the entire 2017-18 season. High expectations were not met.
Michigan will advance to the quarterfinals, where it will take on Nebraska, the No. 4 seed.
WHO STARRED: Duncan Robinson (11 points) hit 2 big 3-pointers to buoy the Wolverines’ second-half lead. He also converted a 3 to put Michigan up 72-70 in overtime. Matthews finished with a team-high 16 points.
Zack Kreiner scored 14 points for Iowa. Tyler Cook added 12 and Luka Garza put in 11, as both big men were again efficient from the field.
WHO STUMBLED: Wagner had 11 points, but he fouled out with 4 minutes, 37 seconds remaining in regulation. As one of Michigan’s most important players, this was welcome news for the Hawkeyes.
Despite nailing the game-tying 3-pointer with 16 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime, Bohannon took some questionable shots. He finished with 11 points, shooting 3 of 11 from 3-point range and missing all 3 of his shots from inside the arc.
WHO IS NEXT: With the conference tournament a week earlier than usual this year, Iowa’s offseason will be even longer.
Michigan will take on Nebraska at 2:30 p.m. Friday (BTN).
Final stats pic.twitter.com/YF3vrmUec0
— Chris Bumbaca (@BOOMbaca) March 1, 2018