Michigan Basketball: Wolverines Beat Spartans in the Biggest Win of the Season

Andrew SilversheinContributor IIIJanuary 17, 2012

Denard Robinson was all smiles when the final horn sounded in Crisler Arena.

The Michigan Wolverines (15-4, 5-2 Big Ten) beat the Michigan State Spartans (14-5, 4-2 Big Ten) 60-59 on an impressive defensive stand. With 30 seconds remaining, the Spartans put together a haphazard-looking possession:

Jordan Morgan blocked the initial shot attempt by Spartan guard Keith Appling. Michigan State G Brandon Wood grabbed the loose ball and got it into the hands of State's best player, Draymond Green. Green drove into the lane with four seconds left, missed a running bank shot from the free-throw line and then missed a tip-in to win the game.

Trey Burke, who has been absolutely fantastic for the Wolverines all year long, was simply phenomenal against the Spartans. He dropped 20 points (8-11 from the field, 3-6 from three), grabbed four rebounds, and dished out three assists. He also registered two steals and blocked two shots.

Burke was the key in the biggest play of the game. Michigan State missed a shot to increase their lead with under 45 seconds left. Burke grabbed the rebound and led a two-on-two fast-break. He drew both defenders near the basket, and dished a perfect pass that led to a wide open, go-ahead lay-up by Stu Douglass.

Michigan was in control for most of the game.

In the first half, the Wolverines spread the floor effectively on offense. They hit their open shots, which made it tough for the Spartans to contest the shooters. The Wolverines were up 47-36 with 12:24 left in the game, until Michigan State went on a 16-2 run to take a 52-49 lead.

The Spartans and the Wolverines went back and forth for the rest of the game, until the final buzzer sounded and Crisler Arena erupted.

There were a handful of Wolverine legends attending the game, including Lamar Woodley, Larry Foote, Jimmy King and the beloved Lloyd Carr.  

The Wolverines remain undefeated at home and will travel to Arkansas to play the Razorbacks on Saturday.