There’s wasn’t much hope left for Michigan basketball.
Up by as much as 11 in the first half, the Wolverines’ lead had crumbled into a three-point deficit with 2.1 seconds to play and the ball under the Wisconsin basket.
Terance Williams II in-bounded it to Hunter Dickinson, but it was tipped away. The 7-foot-1 junior chased it down in mid-air, took a dribble, turned from 35 feet out and heaved the ball as the clock expired.
The shot went down, the crowd at Crisler Center leapt up and overtime followed.Michigan center Hunter Dickinson (1) makes a pass against Wisconsin forward Carter Gilmore (14) and forward Tyler Wahl (5) during the first half at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor on Sunday, Feb.26, 2023.
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From there, it was never in doubt.
Wisconsin sandwiched four free throws in the first two minutes around a Dug McDaniel bucket to take a 72-70 lead before Joey Baker, who was honored pregame for senior day, buried a 3-pointer from the corner. Max Klesmit responded with a deep ball of his own for Wisconsin but Michigan had more left.
Kobe Bufkin hit a slashing layup, then converted the free throw to take the lead. Dickinson followed with a floater before McDaniel hit a running layup to put Michigan up five. U-M finished the game from the free throw line.
Bufkin scored a career-high 28 points with eight rebounds, Dickinson had 23 points and 10 rebounds, his 10th double-double of the year and McDaniel had a career-high 20 of his own as Michigan (17-12, 11-7) tied its longest winning streak of the season at three.
Freshman Connor Essegian scored 24 points for Wisconsin (16-12, 8-10 Big Ten), Klesmit added 19, Steven Crowl had 14 and Tyler Wahl had 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Michigan went into the halftime break with a seven point lead, which ballooned to 10 early in the second half.
After a Bufkin 3-pointer at the top of the key made it 40-32 U-M, Wisconsin’s Hepburn was called for a flagrant foul for extending his off-arm into McDaniel’s face as he brought the ball up the court. McDaniel made both free throws to give U-M a 10-point lead, when the Badgers began to chip away.
Essegian hit a long ball and Hepburn finished an uncontested layup to make it 42-37 before a McDaniel jumper with his toe on the 3-point line hal. Essegian had a tough finish over McDaniel and then Tyler Wahl finished over Terrance Williams to get back within three.
A Bufkin offensive bound led to two free throws, before he dupmed a pass down to Dickinson who finished a lefty hook for a 48-41 lead.
Minutes later, with Wisconsin down 48-43, Juwan HOward checked in a lineup with one point guard, two power forwards (Terrance Williams and Jace Howard) and two centers (Dickinson and Reed). The offense turned the ball over twice, the second of which led to a Klesmiit 3-pointer to get back within two.
Two Williams free throws gave U-M a 52-49 lead with 7:00 to play, but an Essegian mid-range jumper and Crowl left-handed hook over Dickinson gave Wisconsin its first lead, 53-52, since the 6:13 mark of the first half.
The teams would trade blows: a Bufkin layup, a Wahl layup and then a Bufkin 3-pointer gave U-M a two-point lead with 6:06 left before Wahl threw a behind-the-back bounce pass to Crowl to tie the score at 57.
The game was later tied at 61 when Klesmit banked in a 3-pointer with 1:53 to play. U-M was down one, 65-64, with 20.8 seconds left when Juwan Howard called a timeout and drew up a play for Bufkin. The sophomore got to the rack but couldn’t finish, though on replay it looked as if there was some contact.
Wisconsin’s Kamari McGee got the loose ball and made two free throws with 7.8 seconds left to go up three. A bufkin 3-pointer was blocked with 2.1 seconds left which set up the Dickinson miracle.
The afternoon didn’t start off the way Michigan had hoped; Wisconsin made four of its first five field goals, three of which came on layups, to take an early 8-4 lead.
The Wolverines punched back with consecutive buckets by Kobe Bufkin and Joey Baker, who was honored pregame for his senior day, to take a 9-8 lead of their own.
Wisconsin responded with a 9-0 run when Chucky Hepburn and Max Klesmit hit consecutive jumpers before layups by Carter Gilmore and Connor Essegian gave Wisconsin a 17-9 lead.
It was at that time Tarris Reed checked in and flipped the momentum.
The freshman big man came up with a block 48 seconds in, then had an offensive rebound and put-back one minute later. After he committed a turnover on the next possession, he made up for it when he sprinted down the floor and got a chase down block on the other end.
After getting another help side block on defense a few possessions later, Reed got one last offense rebound, drew a foul and split a pair of free throws to help with U-M’s 7-0 run to get back within one, 17-16.
A Crowl 3-pointer put the Badgers back up by four, but Michigan and more specifically Dickinson, took over the rest of the half. The 7-foot-1 junior made a reverse layup on one end, swatted a Crowl layup attempt on the other, then used a pump fake before an up-and-under move past Crowl and tied the game at 20.
Dickinson followed with a hook shot along the baseline, then drew a foul and made two free throws as part of a personal 8-0 run in the midst of Michigan’s 16-3 run as a team. In the 9:57 following Essegian’s floater, the Badgers went 1-for-13 as U-M got up 26-20.
After Wisconsin got within two, Dickinson caught the ball on the left block and once he got double-teamed whipped a two-hand pass across court to Dug McDaniel who made his second 3-pointer of the first half.
Bufkin hit a scooping left-handed layup, Dickinson made a bunny hook shot in the lane and Bufkin turned the corner for one last layup in the final minute of the half for Michigan’s eighth consecutive made field goal of the half before a Max Klesmit 3-pointer seconds before the break made it 35-27 Michigan heading into the locker room.
Wisconsin shot 4-for-19 over the final 11 minutes of the half while Michigan made 10 of its final 16 shots. The Wolverines, who were out-rebounded 10-5 in the opening nine minutes, also controlled the glass 13-6 over the first half’s closing 11 minutes.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan basketball rallies for 87-79 OT win over Wisconsin
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