For the second time this season, Michigan defeated the fourth-ranked team in the country. The Wolverines first beat No. 4 UCLA, 55-52, in the semifinal of the 2K Sports Classic and today defeated No. 4 Duke, 81-73, at Crisler Arena.
The last time Michigan defeated two top-five teams in the same regular season was 1986-87 when U-M defeated fifth-ranked Syracuse, 91-88 (Jan 18, 1987), second-ranked Iowa, 100-92 (Jan. 31, 1987), and third-ranked Purdue, 104-68 (Mar. 7, 1987).
Today's game marked the third top-10 opponent U-M has played this season. In fact, it was the second time the Wolverines played the Blue Devils in a 15-day span. U-M lost, 71-56, to Duke (No. 10 AP/No. 5 ESPN/USA Today) in the final of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 21. The Maize and Blue's other top-10 opponent was UCLA (No. 4 AP/No. 4 ESPN/USA Today) in the semifinal of the 2K Sports Classic, a 55-52 win for U-M.
Michigan is now 8-19 all-time against Duke. With the win today, U-M snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Blue Devils and earned the first win for Wolverine head coach John Beilein against Duke; he is now 1-3 all-time.
Today's game was a sellout with a capacity crowd of 13,751 on hand. It marked the 168th sellout at Crisler Arena and the eighth straight against Duke in Ann Arbor.
Michigan wore its Maize jerseys, with the signature black shoes, for the first time this season
Jevohn Shepherd earned his first start of the season today and the 11th in his career. Joining him in the lineup was David Merritt, Manny Harris and Stu Douglass on the perimeter and DeShawn Sims in the frontcourt.
With his career-best 28 points and career-best-tying 12 rebounds, DeShawn Sims posted his third double-double of the season and fourth of his career. His 28 points eclipsed his prior best of 23, which he had on two other occasions. Sims' reached the 12-rebound mark for the third time this season.
DeShawn Sims has now scored in double figures in eight straight games this season and is second on the team with 16.4 points per game. Overall, it was the fifth career game with 20-plus points.
Going 10-for-16 from the field against Duke, DeShawn Sims tied his career-best mark for field goals made in a game. He last did it against Radford (Nov. 9, 2007). On the season, Sims leads the Wolverines, shooting 55.0 percent from the field.
Manny Harris made it eight straight games with double-digit scoring outputs with his 17 points against Duke. He leads U-M in scoring with 20.8 points per contest. It marked the 36th double-figure game of his 40-game career.
Zack Novak made it back-to-back games setting a career-best scoring mark with his 14 points against Duke. He scored 12 points in U-M's last game at Maryland (Dec. 3). After going 4-of-7 from long range today, Zack Novak is now 12-of-23 (52.2 percent) from long range over his last four games. Overall, it is his third double-figure scoring game.
Manny Harris has started all 40 career games at Michigan. In addition, classmate Kelvin Grady came off the bench to play in his 40th straight contest for the Wolverines. Grady has 25 career starts.