Things I Noticed from my Couch: Michigan 77, Iowa 71 in OT

We love college basketball. We love the month of March. We love gambling on college basketball in the month of March. Because of all of this love, we decided we’d spend most of March Madness giving you all a running list of all the things we noticed from our couches. 

No. 12 seeded Iowa (+8.5) — one of the most challenged defensive teams in all of college basketball — plays their second game in as many days against a potent offensive team in No. 5 Michigan. This could get ugly.

  • Update on my all Big Ten Tournament three team teaser: Wisconsin was never in doubt from the jump. I need Iowa to cover 13-points (sheeeeesh). I wish I didn’t make this bet when I was still so angry and vulnerable. This is why you should cool off before logging back onto MyBookie, folks.
  • There might not be a smoother shot in the Big Ten than Jordan Bohannon when he’s got the green light and is feeling himself. I know that Fran McCaffery joked about him having a little Steph Curry in his game before the season tipped off, but it’s not crazy. The biggest thing that he needs — and soon — is a quality, Big Ten point guard that can take the responsibilities of creating plays off the dribble. That’s just not where JoBo is going to thrive. He needs to be the one guy on the court with the best endurance who just runs off of continuous screens; moving the eyes of the entire defense because they have to worry about him getting open for an easy three point attempt.
  • Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman — or from here forward MAAR — has some amazing hands on defense. He’s so active in the passing and driving lanes. He’s also a pretty damn creative offensive player both for himself and the rest of the Wolverines.
  • In between some of the media timeouts, the Big Ten is playing interviews from the coaches in the game about how great it is to be in New York playing the tournament. What they keep cutting out is how much they bitched about the scheduling before they got to how cool is it to be at the Garden. I want to see those cuts.
  • Iowa has seven turnovers half way through the first half. This might be the most undisciplined basketball team I’ve watched since my junior year of high school. We were so bad, that our coach would make us run ladders during certain drills in practice if we put the ball on the ground more than three times a piece. Iowa should give this a try, but in a real game.
  • Luka Garza hit a three with a minute left and back peddled down the court with his tongue out and to the side like a mother loving boss and I’ve never loved a human more than I love him right now.
  • At the half, Iowa’s up 40-35. Trust me, I’m as shocked as you are. There were so many times where Iowa would just dribble around with their head down and when they finally looked up, someone would be wide open on the weak side and would hit a shot. There isn’t much flow to the Hawkeyes style of offense right now, but it’s working. Shouts to Ryan Kriener who came in for the second game in a row and provided a spark (seven points, two boards and one assist). He’s the early Big Ten Tournament MVP. Michigan on the other hand is 0-7 from three and 9-13 from the free throw line. They’ve been fine. If both of those numbers I mentioned go up in the second half (which they should), Iowa is going to be in trouble.
  • And in trouble they are. Michigan came out of the locker room like their hair was on fire to the tune of an 8-0 run. Just like almost every other second half start for Iowa, they are desperate for offense. The “dribble with your head down and hope for something to happen” approach is slowly burning to the ground.
  • You know the “Big Ten-Love” commercial that airs all the time? The one that has the student sections going bonkers for whatever reason? Well, I can’t tell you how much I love that commercial. I love the Nut House trio and the look on the one guys face as he attempts to count to three. I love the skinny Terp getting decked by the Terp and yelling “oh my god” in slow motion. And I especially love the Teletubbies starring up into the rafters as confetti falls onto them. Just a fantastic, self promoting commercial that I will never get tired of.
  • How in the hell is Duncan Robinson STILL in school and why is he hitting two huge threes in the second half in a tight game? I demand the FBI to look into this ASAP.
  • Remember how I talked about how good JoBo is when he’s got the green light and feeling himself. Well, when that isn’t happening, or, when he’s slightly hurt/tired, it’s tough to watch. He just isn’t really good at anything else offensively. During the second half — where he missed somewhere between six to thirty seven wide open threes — he was a liability. He can’t get to the rack and he can’t defend the likes of MAAR. Iowa needs a swift, Skip-To-My-Lou PG desperately.
  • Crazy sequence alert: With Iowa down six with a little over a minute left, Nicholas Baer pops a three to cut the lead in half. Iowa puts on the press and forces a 5-second call on the inbound. Luka Garza misses a good look from long distance and misses, but the ball hits off a Michigan player. Iowa gets JoBo a clean look and misses. Iowa fouls MAAR. He misses the one-and-one and then JoBo does this:

  • Zavier Simpson needs a new free throw setup than whatever the hell he just did. Also, there is no shot that he does that to “replicate” a catch and shoot situation. He pauses for 5 seconds before he even shoots it.
  • Garza just threw up a three point shot that almost touched the ceiling of Madison Square Garden and barely nipped the rim. Iowa can’t make a long distance shot again. This is over. OVER. OVERRRRRR.

Michigan pulls out the victory, 76-71. The “Win Five and Get In” dream is dead for Iowa, but my teaser lives on. Wish me luck.

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