5 Most Disappointing Takeaways From Michigan's 'Record-Breaking' Performance

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Photo credit Michigan Wolverines head coach John Beilein reacts during the 63-44 loss against Texas Tech Red Raiders in the semifinals of the west regional of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Honda Center. (© Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports)
By Jake Riepma

It was Michigan’s lowest scoring first half performance in the history of the NCAA Tournament. The Wolverines were held to 7-of-25 shooting in the first 20 minutes and missed all nine of their 3-point attempts.

After 20 minutes of play, Michigan had 16 points, and sadly, things only got worse. It was Michigan’s lowest point total in a tournament game in school history.

Absolutely ridiculous, and completely inexplicable. 

We knew Michigan was prone to scoring droughts, but no one could have expected or predicted this – 1-19 from three, and 16-49 (32.7%) overall. 

In a season that began with so much promise – a program best 17 game winning-streak, convincing non-conference wins over North Carolina and Villanova, and high expectations entering the tournament, the 2018-19 campaign comes to an abrupt end. For many, the image of the Texas Tech Red Raiders dominating in all facets of the game will be how this season of Michigan basketball is remembered.

Michigan didn’t come close to even hinting at being competitive. 

My five most disappointing takeaways from Michigan’s lackluster performance: 

1.    1-19 from three-point range

Off nights are going to happen, and it’s a shame it happened on this night to Michigan. But one made three-pointer is ridiculous. Equally as ridiculous is the fact that the lone made triple came in the closing seconds of an already decided game. They may as well have not made a three at all. 

2.    44 total points – matching the all-time lowest point total by a #2 seed in the history of the NCAA Tournament 

The Wolverines certainly put themselves in a hole by only scoring 16 points in the first half, but to be associated with the lowest point total by a #2 seed in the history of the tournament is embarrassing. Like I said earlier, off nights are going to happen, but was there something more to the offensive debacle? One could make the case this Texas Tech team switched on screens the same way Michigan State switched on ball screens, with both teams effectively shutting down Michigan on the offensive end. Perhaps Michigan’s offense wasn’t nearly as good as we thought. 

3.    14 Turnovers

This stat isn’t alarming per say, but when you’re not making shots, you set yourself back even further by turning the ball over. The Wolverines looked lost on offense all night, and the 14 turnovers are a testament to the forgettable performance. 

4.    Zavier Simpson – 0 points, 4 Turnovers 

It’s a shame it has to end like this for a guy that had such a tremendous season, but as one of the leaders for Michigan, this type of performance is unacceptable. The entire team was out-of-sync all night, but especially Simpson. For a guy that averaged nearly 10 points and seven assists per game, the goose egg and four turnovers leaves you scratching your head. 

5.    No fight, no desire, no sense of urgency 

There’s no metric for body language, swag, grit, or whatever else you want to call it – but if there were, Michigan would have been severely outmatched by Texas Tech in this category. I can’t fathom how a team isn’t ready to play in an elimination, winner-take-all game. It was win or go home, and Michigan slept walked for 40 minutes. I suppose Wolverine faithful can take pride in three consecutive Sweet 16 appearances, but this performance was one of the worst in the Beilein era. 

Arguably Michigan’s worst performance of the season comes in the biggest game of the year, and the Wolverine’s chances of returning to the Final Four is equal to Zavier Simpson’s point total… 0.