INDIANAPOLIS — A Big Ten Tournament already upset-heavy through two days saw Day 3 open with its biggest upset yet.
Kam Chatman's 3-pointer beat the buzzer, broke a tie and lifted Michigan to a stunning 72-69 win over top-seeded Indiana on Friday, sending the Wolverines — and not the regular-season conference-champion Hoosiers — to the tournament semifinals on Saturday.
Take a look:
— Sean Merriman (@BTNSean) March 11, 2016
Michigan played Indiana tougher and closer than most anyone expected, as the Hoosiers made a habit of blowing out teams with eye-popping point totals all season long. But the Wolverines played solid defense and hung around long enough despite an offensively dry second half to grab the improbable victory.
In fact, it was the Wolverines who led much of the second half. The Hoosiers' biggest lead of the game was only five, coming when Max Bielfeldt hit a 3 to make it 49-44. But Michigan responded from there, using a 9-0 run while Indiana went five and a half minutes without a point to retake the lead. After a stretch dominated by free throws — but one that featured a pair of electrifying OG Anunoby steals turned fastbreak buckets — the Hoosiers moved in front thanks to a 7-0 spurt that gave them a 66-61 lead with two and a half minutes remaining. It didn't look good for the Wolverines, who made just one basket over a seven-and-a-half-minute stretch, but Duncan Robinson's three-point play made it a two-point game and a pair of Derrick Walton Jr. free throws did the same moments later. After Yogi Ferrell split a pair of free throws to boost Indiana's lead to three with a minute left, Robinson splashed home a game-tying 3 from the corner. Anunoby turned the ball over on the Hoosiers' ensuing possession, and Chatman buried his game-winner with less than a second remaining to secure the win.
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Robinson and Chatman hit the back-to-back triples after Michigan started the second half 0-for-10 from 3-point range. The Wolverines scored 22 points off 15 Hoosier turnovers despite getting beat up on the boards and shooting effectively the same percentage from the field. Typically hot-shooting from 3, Indiana was just 4-for-17 from deep Friday.
Zak Irvin led Michigan with 17 points, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman scored 15 points, and Robinson and Mark Donnal each had 12. Walton was held to just two points, on those two free throws, but he handed out a record 12 assists, the most ever in a Big Ten Tournament game.
Troy Williams scored 16 to lead Indiana, only four of those points coming after halftime. Ferrell had 14 and handed out eight assists. Anunoby and Thomas Bryant each scored 13.
The win over a team ranked in the top 10 is gigantic for a Michigan squad still sitting on the NCAA tournament bubble. It still might not be enough to get the Wolverines into the field of 68, but it will go a long way in bettering their resume. Michigan gets the winner of Purdue and Illinois on Saturday.
The loss is embarrassing for Indiana and ought to affect its NCAA tournament seeding. The Big Ten Tournament has been a historically tough event for the Hoosiers, who are just 11-19 all-time.