Latest missed opportunity stings the most for Michigan, who loses Big Ten title in crushing fashion
In 52 seconds, a person can make a phone call, send an email, make a sandwich and order a pizza.
And, apparently, in 52 seconds a basketball team can lose a Big Ten championship and make its immediate future a lot more difficult.
The Wolverines (25-6, 12-6) accomplished both Sunday, and have no one to blame but themselves.
"It was just a shocking loss," Michigan point guard Trey Burke said Sunday after the Wolverines' blew a 5-point lead in 52 seconds during a 72-71 loss against Indiana.
Stunning and crushing, too.
Michigan has missed some opportunities this season, but this one was easily the worst. There was Ben Brust's halfcourt shot at Wisconsin. The Penn State embarrassment. Burke's missed triple at the buzzer in Columbus, Ohio.
But this one took the cake.
Up five with less than a minute to go, Michigan was basically preparing to make more space in its rafters for another Big Ten championship banner.
Indiana, meanwhile, was busy stealing the game.
"This hurts a lot for all of us," Burke said. "We had a chance to get a share of the Big Ten championship.
"We have other goals in mind we can still go after, I guess that's how we have to look at it."
Michigan missed three free throws during the games final 1:10, and it allowed Indiana's Cody Zeller to get three straight easy looks at the basket in the final 38 seconds.
But there was more to this game than one last stretch.
The Wolverines were beaten severely -- once again -- on the glass, as Indiana out-rebounded the Wolverines 53-30. The Hoosiers grabbed 24 offensive rebounds, easily the most Michigan has allowed all season.
Indiana went into the paint time and time again, and Michigan never had an answer.
Asked which loss hurt more -- this or the last-second Duke loss in the 2011 NCAA tournament, Tim Hardaway Jr. went with the most recent setback.
"It reminds me of that a little bit," he said. "But the circumstances weren't as big (then). I mean, Big Ten champion? That says a lot in our conference and throughout the country, if you're co-Big Ten champ. That means a lot."
Michigan missed layups, it missed foul shots, it blew an 11-point first-half lead and a five-point last-minute lead.
Quite simply, it didn't deserve to win the league championship.
"You get what you earn," Michigan coach John Beilein said. "We didn't quite earn this one, enough."
Michigan blew it, without question. And now, it has to pay the price.
The Wolverines will have to win four games in four days in order to win a Big Ten Tournament title, starting with a 2:30 p.m. tilt against Penn State in the 5-12 game on Thursday.
Michigan will most likely have to go through Indiana again if it wants to reach the title game, and if it flames out, it may cost itself a chance at playing in Auburn Hills during the NCAA tournament's opening weekend.
At this point, Michigan has no choice. It has to erase the Indiana loss from its memory, and get over it. The Big Ten Tournament awaits, and more importantly, the NCAA tournament.
Michigan lost the Big Ten title Sunday, but it didn't lose its season.
It needs to remember that.
"I'd have to have that be a situation where that's the end of your season, we do have some time here," Beilein said. "We're playing again right away on Thursday, we've got to get quick rest, turn around and try to find some good out of this.
"What we can do in the Big Ten Tournament,it'd be special to win it -- but then you get back and the grand daddy of them all starts, and we've got to get it done there."
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