Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Northwestern was, uh, alright, but Trey Burke is better. The Wildcats missed some easy looks and couldn't cut back into a lead they had down to nine after a monster first half from the No. 1 Wolverines.
Let's be real: Northwestern played alright there. If they didn't miss so many bunnies, they'd have lost this game like, by ten-ish.
It's tough to argue with Michigan being the No. 1 team in the country when you see the way they played in the first half tonight. Northwestern hit a nice percentage of their shots, considering, and sort of got hands up on defense, and yet, bang. Everything fell for Michigan, and there weren't many open shots for Northwestern. If NU had played their best half of the year, they'd have been down five. Instead, they were down 15.
Surprisingly, the Cats cut into that lead. They started off the half hot - Alex Olah! - and got it to nine. Then, Dave Sobolewski pulled a turkey at the free throw line - yes, a turkey, a basketball term that hasn't been used since the NBA outlawed the three-to-make-two back in the 1950's - and although Michigan fell silent on offense, Northwestern could. not. score. I've seen Northwestern teams miss layups. This Northwestern team missed even more layups than I'm used to.
Props to Jared Swopshire for eight points, eight rebounds, and a huge block, and good job by everybody else not letting this be a 30-point game like the first go-round. And they saved some makes for Purdue.
That, and MAN, Trey Burke is good.