This is Wisconsin's seventh Big Ten Tournament championship appearance, and it is 3-3 in title games. He missed all seven of his field-goal attempts after halftime and finished with 15 points. He shook his head, as if in disbelief. They reached the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament with a first-round victory over Syracuse before falling to North Carolina. "East coast, west coast, MI is (here) and we love it. Thank you very much", said Beilein, who coached at nearby Richmond from 1997 to 2002. "Thankful to be here and compete for something as special as a Big Ten championship". MI made a decision to play, and despite arriving only a few hours before tipoff, it proceeded to go through one of the most remarkable runs through a conference tournament we've ever seen. Too many NCAA teams have the offensive firepower to overcome Wisconsin's defense prowess, so the Badgers will need to up the scoring themselves. "If you can win this thing, and we can win this, you are going to come back one day and say to your sons or your daughters, you are going to say".
What can you say about MI?
This game was a living highlight reel. These two have been roommates for four years, and they play like there's a telepathy between them.
As good as Irvin and Walton have been, though, credit also goes to Michigan's defense for upping its game throughout this week. There is an unselfishness about this group.
"They guarded us pretty well, they took a lot of our stuff away, pushed us out on the floor, and we didn't do a very good job of sharing the ball either", said McIntosh, who scored 8 points of 4-of-12 shooting. They might have been able to move up one seed line with a victory. He's like a conductor, the best player on the court.
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, D.C. Everything was falling. Everything was going right for the Wolverines.
So, after Beilein applauded Walton's performance in his postgame address to the team, the players chanted: "FIRST TEAM!"
Sunday, Michigan showed just how risky its offense can be. They were a bubble team on paper, but a tournament team in pedigree.
But Michigan might be the most vexing team of all to defend.
Senior trombonist Austin Coplien said for years, he's worn a "Wisconsin Bones" hat to every sporting event he's played. Wilson is at 37.4 percent and has made more than a 3-pointer per game.
But Michigan cooled off.
Walton Jr. hit consecutive three-pointers, with 5:58 left and 5:22 left, to push the lead to 10. The Wolverines won the first-ever tourney in 1998 but had to vacate it due to NCAA sanctions.
"I thought he hit some tough shots", said Minnesota coach Richard Pitino. And it still amazes me that among our most popular guests is Jason Colthorp, the former WILX-TV news anchor who draws laughs whenever he offers his imitation of me.
A story that's not done, by any means.