Michigan upset #4 Duke 81-73 in a 70-possession game this afternoon.
Watching the Wolverines play with confidence and composure against a top ten team for 40 minutes was, I have to say, a bit of a surreal experience. This is a landmark game in the John Beilein era.
I’d say more, but UMHoops has got all the angles covered. Key paragraph:
The thing that stands out for me today is how much mental toughness and poise this team shows. Duke went up 53-50 with 8:36 remaining and this team didn’t fold. Michigan came back with back to back Zack Novak triples (both assists by Kelvin Grady). 1 minute later the score was 56-53 Michigan and they didn’t look back. I can’t even count the number of times in the last 10 years a Michigan team has crumbled under pressure but this team is different. It took a year but John Beilein has instilled confidence in this team and they have forged an identity.
Come Monday, MSU will probably still be ranked ahead of Michigan (the Wolverines were the eighth team in the “Receiving Votes” category in the last AP poll, so the voters would have to wipe out a 20-spot differential between the two teams). But, quite frankly, they shouldn’t be, based on the two teams’ respective performances to date this season.
I’m confident that over a full season of games, MSU will prove itself the superior squad. But make no mistake about it: the in-state basketball rivalry between the two schools is going to be a good one for quite some time.
Circle Tuesday, February 10, on your calendar, my friends.