Michigan Upsets #15 Connecticut 68-63

Michael FoyContributor IJanuary 17, 2010

LAWRENCE, KS - DECEMBER 19: Manny Harris #3 of the Mighigan Wolverines drives the ball during the game against the Kansas Jayhawks on December 19, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Michigan has struggled living up to the expectations so far this season, losing pretty much all meaningful non-conference games so far.  I’m sure the Wolverines had this one circled on their schedule as a “must win”.  It was their last chance at a quality out of conference win.  The Wolverines delivered and outplayed U-Conn nearly the entire way winning 68-63.  Michigan was able to get U-Conn to play the Wolverines style of play, a half court slowed down pace.

This was my first opportunity to watch U-Conn play and I have to say I was really impressed with their star guard Jerome Dyson.  Although Dyson only scored 13 points as he played limited minutes due to foul trouble, he still impacted the game.  He might be the fastest player with the basketball in the open court that I’ve seen this year.  U-Conn is a completely different team when he’s out of the game.  The Huskies should still finish in the top part of the Big East despite this non-conference setback.  They really need to improve their perimeter shooting and free throw shooting to make a serious run in the NCAA tournament.

This is my second time blogging about Michigan this season.  Going into this game I figured DeShawn Sims needed to score a bunch in the paint for Michigan to be successful.  I was wrong, as a variety of role players stepped up for Michigan and hit a number of three point shots.  Manny Harris and Sims both took charge the last 5 minutes of the game, but this win was a total team effort.  I was impressed with their team defense holding U-Conn to only 63 points and forcing the Huskies to play more of a Big Ten style of play.  At a record of 10-7 Michigan still has their work cut out for them to get an at large NCAA tourney birth.

49 Teams to go….58 days until Selection Sunday!

Why am I doing this?  Here’ the answer: NCAA Basketball New Year’s Resolution