The top-seeded Michigan Wolverines needed a late basket from Jordan Morgan to edge the Illinois Fighting Illini, 64-63, in their opening game of the 2014 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament today in Indianapolis. Morgan scored with 7.9 seconds remaining.
The Wolverines led by as many as 13 points in the second half, but the Illini stormed back to take the lead, 59-58, with less than five minutes left at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. From there, U-M scored the game's final three points, the first of which came on a Nik Stauskas free throw. After Illinois missed a three-point attempt and turned over the ball, Stauskas set up the game-winning basket on a crisp feed into the paint, from where Morgan powered in the shot, which bounded around the rim and backboard and dropped in. Illinois had a final chance to reclaim the lead, but Tracy Abrams missed a jumper, which sent Michigan to the next round of the postseason tourney, where it will play Ohio State, which came back from 18 points down on Friday to beat Nebraska, 71-67. CBS will televise the U-M/OSU game, for which tipoff will be on Saturday at 1:40 p.m. EDT.
Stauskas led all scorers with 19 points, despite hitting only 4 of his 12 shots from the field, including just 2-10 from three-point range. The sophomore standout made up for it at the free throw line, where he was 9-10 on the day. The victory improved the Wolverines, ranked eighth nationally, to 24-7 overall this season.
Read more about today's game in a detailed recap on U-M's official athletic website, MGoBlue.com.