This was the most points Bill Carmody ever gave up at Northwestern, and a huge total for a Big Ten conference play. To be fair, it was really a Michigan home game at Northwestern, with a clear majority of Michigan fans in the audience at Welsh Ryan Arena. The team played strong and confident, racing out to a 20-4 lead, and sustaining a big lead all night.
The stars came out for Michigan, and that was the difference. Trey Burke had yet another spectacular performance. He scored 23 points, on 9-16 from the field, including 4-6 on three pointers. Burke also added 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals. He owned the game, leading masterful fast breaks and knocking down three pointers right in defenders’ faces. The highlight for Burke was him breaking Dave Sobolewski’s ankles more than once. He played like a star, and has cemented himself as the clear cut best point guard in the country.
Tim Hardaway Jr. returned from an ankle injury that held him out against Central Michigan on Saturday. He started off the game making his first four three pointers. He was truly in the zone and looked to be unhindered by his previous injury. Hardaway finished with 21 points.
All three other Michigan starters (Jordan Morgan, Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III) finished in double figures scoring. Morgan notched his third double-double of the season, adding 13 rebounds to his 12 points. It was a blowout from the start, that allowed every Wolverine to see the court. Before the starters came out, towards the end of the game, it became a circus show by the Wolverines, with several fast break dunks and alley-oops. The talent gap was very clear between the two teams and was punctuated by spectacular plays.
For Michigan, there is little to complain about right now. They are undefeated, ranked 2nd in the country and their star players are playing out of their minds. Right now, they have to be considered the biggest threat to Indiana to win the Big Ten.
Michigan continues its conference slate on Sunday, hosting Iowa, followed by lowly Nebraska on Wednesday. The Wolverines should start 3-0 in the Big Ten, before they have their showdown with rival no. 8 Ohio State, in Columbus.