One took care of business and the other did not… And what happened Oakland?!

Looking back at the big weekend that was in local college basketball left two teams with a conference championship, another in the tournament championship game and the last upset in the final moments.

First lets start with the Big Ten championship race and the state of Michigan connection.  Going in to the weekend, Michigan needed to win at Penn State on Senior Day in Happy Valley to force Michigan State to beat Ohio State so that the Spartans would be the outright Big Ten regular season champs.

If both Michigan and Michigan State lost, then MSU and OSU would have tied for the title, but if Michigan won and Michigan State lost then all three would tie for the title. Confused yet?

Early on Sunday Michigan did their part, defeating Penn State 71-65 to clinch at the very least the second overall seed in the Big Ten tournament.  Later in the day, Michigan players were forced to root for their arch-rival Ohio State to pick up a victory to get a share of the title.

In the OSU/MSU matchup all hope for the Wolverines, and Buckeyes, seemed gone at the half when the Spartans jumped out to a 15-point lead.  But Ohio State was able to battle back and got a last second bucket by William Buford gave the Buckeyes a 72-70 victory and the three-way tie in the Big Ten.

Michigan State had two chances down the stretch to win the Big Ten and failed.  They had two tough games against two quality opponents in Ohio State and previously heading to Indiana.  The Spartans still are going to be the number one seed heading in to the Big Ten tournament, but will most likely need to win the tournament to be a number one seed in the NCAA tournament.

Michigan on the other hand won a piece of the Big Ten title for the first time since 1986.  A single victory in the Big Ten tournament should lock up a three-seed for the Wolverines in the NCAA tournament.

Another local team with a shot to make the Big Dance is Detroit Mercy, who were able to defeat Youngstown State and Cleveland State on back-to-back nights to advance to the Horizon League tournament versus Valparaiso.  The Titans were picked to win the Horizon this regular season, but gave a few games away and slid to number three in the league heading in to the tournament.

But a victory over Valpo would put the Titans in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1999.  Valparaiso defeated the Titans by a combined seven points in the two meetings this regular season.

As close as Detroit Mercy is to a tournament appearance, the Oakland Golden Grizzlies fell apart and was upset by Southern Utah 84-82.  In the final 153 seconds, the Grizzlies managed to lose an 11-point lead and only scored one point of their own during the stretch.  Here is a play-by-play of those last moments for the nations leading scorer Reggie Hamilton:

2:33 72-81 Reggie Hamilton Turnover.
2:22 74-81 Reggie Hamilton missed Jumper.
1:28 76-81 Reggie Hamilton missed Free Throw.
1:28 76-81 Reggie Hamilton missed Free Throw.
1:16 79-81 Reggie Hamilton missed Free Throw.
1:16 79-82 Reggie Hamilton made Free Throw.
0:05 84-82 Reggie Hamilton missed Jumper.

The fact that Hamilton went 1-4 from the free-throw line down the stretch is even more surprising considering he was a 87.4% free throw shooter during the regular season.  It was a tough way for Hamilton and the rest of the senior’s season to end, but hopefully the youngsters on this team will learn from this experience and not let it happen again next season.

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2 Responses to One took care of business and the other did not… And what happened Oakland?!

  1. Pingback: College Basketball: One took care of business and the other did not… And what happened Oakland?!

  2. Pingback: College Basketball: One took care of business and the other did not… And what happened Oakland?! - The Majors Detroit: Real. Detroit. Sports.

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