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Who will be the clutch player in Michigan’s Final Four game? — Matt K Wilson, via Facebook
Jon Teske will rise to the occasion for the Michigan basketball team in its first Final Four game. He could score the go-ahead basket. He already has neutralized an opponent’s top player. He also hit a pair of key free throws at a crucial point in an NCAA Tournament game.
We only know for certain that Michigan is guaranteed one Final Four game, Saturday against Loyola-Chicago. And because so many others have stepped up for the Wolverines through the course of the postseason, it has become a rotation.
Now it is Teske’s time to come through in the NCAA Tournament. There is no better time than when his team has a shot for the national championship.
Teske excelled in the Big Ten Tournament title game on March 4 when he came off the bench and relieved Moritz Wagner, who got into foul trouble. The 7-foot-1 center went up against Purdue big man Isaac Haas and scored 14 points. Then, Teske hit 2 free throws in a 5-point swing in a 64-63 NCAA Tournament win March 17 against Houston.
Michigan’s roster is most impressive in the fact that when someone falters, another player always seems to step up for the Wolverines at the right time. Jordan Poole hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer against Houston to advance to the Sweet 16. Charles Matthews is garnering serious consideration for the all-tournament team; the junior guard has averaged 16.5 points in Michigan’s four NCAA Tournament games and worked himself out of a slump at the end of the regular season.
Teske stated it well after the Big Ten Tournament title game:
“Coach [John Beilein] always says there’s outliers in our locker room, so you never know who it might be. One day it might be JP [Poole]. Another day it might be Eli [Brooks] or Ibi [Watson]. I guess today was my day.”
But if we are picking players and naming names, Teske is due for another breakout.
Read more answers to questions about the Michigan Wolverines here.