March 14, 2014
Playing as the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten Tournament for the first time in school history, Michigan defeated Illinois today, advancing to the semifinal on Saturday against the winner of No. 4 seed Nebraska and No. 5 seed Ohio State. The semifinal game is scheduled for 1:40 p.m. and will be televised on CBS.
Overall, U-M improves to 14-15 (10-14) all-time in the Big Ten Tournament, including a 5-8 (4-7) mark in the quarterfinal round and a 7-6 cumulative record under head coach John Beilein. Michigan has won its opening game in the tournament eight straight times and has never lost its first tournament matchup under Beilein.
Today's victory marks the sixth consecutive win for the Wolverines, their second-longest streak of the season. They also improve to 78-85 (74-80) all-time against the Illini, including an even 2-2 mark when the two schools meet in the Big Ten Tournament.
Michigan has won each of the last seven matchups with Illinois, its longest streak since winning nine straight during a stretch that spanned from 1992 and 1996.
U-M was right on par with its nation-leading average of 14.6 fouls per game, finishing with 15 fouls as a team. The Wolverines also bested their season average of 9.36 turnovers per game -- a mark that ranks seventh nationally -- finishing with just eight. Michigan has finished with 10 or fewer turnovers in 21 contests this season.
U-M added to its conference-best 76.32 team free throw percentage, the school's all-time best mark, by going 12-for-15 from the line. Today's win marks the 18th game this season the Wolverines have shot 75 percent or better from the charity stripe.
The Wolverines assisted on 11 of their 21 made field goals (52.38 percent); U-M now averages an assist on 55.6 percent of its made field goals (447 assists on 803 made field goals) this season.
Michigan featured three players in double figures in points: Nik Stauskas (game-high 19), Glenn Robinson III (15) and Caris LeVert (13), marking the 26th, 23rd and 22nd times those players have reached that plateau this season, respectively. For Stauskas, it is his ninth consecutive game in double-digit scoring, while Robinson III and LeVert have hit the mark in seven straight contests. The trio made up the game's top three scorers for either team.
Big Ten Player of the Year Nik Stauskas has now led U-M in scoring 18 times this season and led all scorers in 14 contests. In two games against Illinois, he has totaled 43 points; he has only scored more combined points against Michigan State (44) among Big Ten teams U-M has played twice this season (seven total teams).
Glenn Robinson III has knocked down at least five field goals in seven straight games, turning in a 5-for-11 shooting performance in today's win. Robinson also hauled down seven rebounds, marking his highest total since he pulled down nine in a win against Iowa (Jan. 22).
Caris LeVert finished with 13 points, five rebounds and four assists, knocking down a game-high three triples and leading the team with four helpers.
Jordan Morgan finished with six rebounds and four points, including the game-winning basket. When he hauled down his sixth rebound of the game, he tied U-M legend Cazzie Russell (1963-66) with 676 total boards, good for 19th all-time.
Playing in his 136th career game for U-M, Jordan Morgan has tied the all-time record held by Stu Douglass (2008-12). His presence in today's starting lineup marks his 116th career start, placing him fifth all-time at Michigan (Louis Bullock, 129).