The Michigan Wolverines (21-11) took care of business against the Illinois Fighting Illini (18-14) beating them 75-55 in the first round of the Big Ten tournament on Wednesday in Washington D.C.
It had been an interesting two days for the maize and blue. On Wednesday, the team’s flight to Washington slid off the runway before it took off from near campus because of high winds in Ann Arbor. No one was hurt on the flight and everyone was able to get off the plane safely. The team’s game uniforms, however, did not. As a result, the Wolverines went out on Thursday with their full practice uniforms.
None of that seemed to faze Michigan in the first ten minutes of the game. The team opened up a 26-11 lead thanks to some great shooting by Derrick Walton Jr. and Zak Irvin. The Illini did a solid job on two-point shots, but it was Michigan’s three-point shooting that took them to the next level and gave them a 40-29 lead going into halftime.
In the second half, both teams seemed to struggle a bit from the three-point line, but Michigan was able to get enough points in the paint to keep their lead.
Michigan shot 53.6% from field-goal range and 36% from the three-point line. They also went 6-for-7 from the free-throw line and only turned the ball over seven times.
The Wolverines now move on to the quarterfinals to face the No. 14 Purdue Boilermakers on Friday at 12 p.m. EST on ESPN.