Credit Michigan and head coach John Beilein.
Ohio State was red-hot out of the gate early on, but the Wolverines never gave up despite a 20+ point deficit. The lead was too much to overcome even though Michigan valiantly responded by tying the game at 46 late.
Another rugged, Big Ten battle ended in favor of the Buckeyes, while Michigan fell for the first time this season. With the Wolverines’ loss, there are no more undefeated teams remaining in college basketball.
By default, Michigan’s road loss in Columbus is set to take away their opportunity of taking over the nation’s No. 1 spot when the rankings are updated on Monday afternoon. Had the Wolverines won, the decision to appoint Michigan to the top spot would have been obvious, but fans shouldn’t not worry too much.
The Wolverines are still a top five team and should not drop too much in the rankings. Both Arizona and Duke, who each entered this past week undefeated and within the nation’s top five, suffered their first losses of the season, as well.
The 53 points that Michigan scored on Sunday afternoon was their lowest of the season and the first time they had been held under 60 in a game this year. Trey Burke scored 15 points, but needed 13 shots to do so, while Tim Hardaway Jr. added 12 points, but took 15 shots in his own right.
An ugly game with tons of excitement gives the Buckeyes another boost moving forward, as Michigan must now prepare for another pivotal Big Ten match-up.
The Wolverines will head to Minnesota on Thursday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00pm (EST).
Paul Seaver is the College Basketball Network Manager at Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS