At the half Michigan had a commanding lead of 34-19. That slow first half start would prove to be costly to the Wildcats. Northwestern seemed to get things figured out after the half, outscoring Michigan 47-41, but the halftime deficit came back to haunt the Wildcats, as Michigan held on for the 75-66 win.
Michigan's Jordan Morgan scored a career high 27 points to help the Wolverines effort. Tim Hardway Jr. had 17 points and lead the team in rebounds, with 10 boards.
Northwestern was lead by Michael Thompson with 17 points, he scored all 17 points in the second half. The other two Wildcats scoring in double digits were Drew Crawford with 16 and JerShon Cobb with 14. John Shurna, the Wildcats leading scorer didn't start, and only had four points. I think that is what hurt Northwestern in this game. When your leading scorer only scores four, most teams are going to have trouble getting a win.
Michigan out-rebounded Northwestern 32-25, with Hardway's double-double. The largest lead for Northwestern was one before the Wolverines established their largest lead of 14.
(More after the jump)No one really expected Michigan to finish in front of Northwestern this year, but it could turn out that way. It won't be easy for Michigan, as Northwestern probably has the easier remaining schedule.
I would say Big Ten Tournament seeds 4-11 are probably still up for grabs. Everyone wants a top five seed as the top five seeds receive byes. Michigan does still have a chance at it, given how some Big Ten teams have been struggling lately.
Overall, this was a good win for Michigan they defended their home floor nicely. It keeps whatever NCAA hopes they have alive.
For Northwestern, it really doesn't look that good. It also proves that Northwestern is probably headed to the NIT. They won't be headed to the NCAA Tournament this year.