Yet another college basketball powerhouse has gone down early in the season as No. 14 Michigan was toppled by Charlotte, 63-61 in the Puerto Rico Tip Off championship on Sunday night.
ESPN's College Basketball Twitter feed summed up the improbable upset:
With just under 10 seconds left, Mitch McGary hit a clutch lay-up to tie things up at 61 apiece. Charlotte would inbound the ball as both sides opted not to call a time out and slow things down.
In doing so, the 49ers were able to get out onto something of a fast break and open up a couple of passing lanes. Terrance Williams did the rest, missing an initial lay-up before tipping in that very miss with just a fraction of a second on the clock.
MLive.com's Brendan F. Quinn captured the drama:
Ridiculous ending. Michigan looks shocked. Tip-in by Charlotte Terrence Williams at the horn will likely count. Down go the Wolverines.— Brendan F. Quinn (@BFQuinn) November 25, 2013
Michigan would get 0.4 seconds on the clock after the tip-in, but it wasn't enough for the Wolverines to get a decent shot off.
The 49ers started things off strong, going on a 10-0 run early in the game to get out in front. They actually led by as many as eight points on two separate occasions in the first half.
Michigan were fortunate to claw back into the game, turning a 12-point second half deficit into a one-point lead with just over six minutes left due to big games from Nik Stauskas (20 points) and Caris LeVert (11 points).
McGary, the Wolverines' star player who is coming off injury, came off the bench to put up six points and nine rebounds, but turned the ball over three times and got into foul trouble late.
The win was especially big for Charlotte, who looks to be on the finishing end of a tough rebuilding phase that ESPN's Andy Katz recognized on Twitter:
Charlotte's Alan Major has slogged through a rebuilding project. This is the fruition. Now needs to continue it to get to the NCAAs.— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) November 25, 2013
The loss is the second slip-up already for Michigan, the national title runner-up in 2012-13, as it also dropped a 77-70 affair to Iowa State one week ago. The Wolverines weren't supposed to have an easy go of it early on with McGary hurt and a couple of big performers to replace, but certainly very few people expected two losses this early.
Charlotte, on the other hand, improved to 5-1 on the season and notched its second win over a power conference team, having beaten Kansas State three days before.