WASHINGTON (AP) — Two days after its airplane’s scary abandoned takeoff, Michigan’s wild journey carried right on into the Big Ten semifinals with a 74-70 overtime upset of 13th-ranked Purdue behind D.J. Wilson’s 26 points Friday.
The eighth-seeded Wolverines (22-11) got 13 points from Zak Irvin, including their first four of the extra period, against the No. 1 seed Boilermakers (25-7).
It was a back-and-forth afternoon affair, the most engaging game of the week so far. The teams combined for 14 ties and 17 lead changes in regulation alone, and they headed to overtime tied at 66 after Zak Irvin pulled Michigan even on a layup with 4.2 seconds left, before Wilson blocked a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.
Michigan next faces the winner of Friday’s later quarterfinal between No. 4 seed Minnesota and No. 5 seed Michigan State.
Caleb Swanigan, the second-leading scorer in the Big Ten, fouled out in OT with 13 points and 13 rebounds for Purdue — his 26th double-double, tying Jerry Lucas and Brad Sellers for the league’s single-season record.
A few minutes into the second half, Swanigan went down when his left leg was knocked into by a driving Derrick Walton. Swanigan quickly rose and stayed in the game, but flexed and bent his leg.
Later, Swanigan’s fifth foul put Walton on the line with 20.1 seconds left in the extra period, and he made both shots for a 72-67 lead.
After Michigan’s Xavier Simpson missed two free throws, Ryan Cline’s 3 with 2.1 seconds remaining got Purdue within 72-70. Duncan Robinson was fouled with 1.1 seconds left and went 2 for 2, sealing the victory that will help Michigan’s NCAA Tournament seeding.
Carsen Edwards and 7-foot-2 Isaac Haas each scored 17 for the Boilermakers. Purdue guard P.J. Thompson’s half-court heave swished through the net at the halftime buzzer, dropping Michigan’s lead to 38-37.
But the Wolverines were the better team in OT.
And just think about what Michigan has been through. The players, coaches, cheerleaders and others were evacuated from their plane after it failed to take flight and slid through a fence Wednesday. They instead traveled on the Detroit Pistons’ jet on Thursday morning, arriving at the arena a couple of hours before facing Illinois in the conference tourney.
Michigan was forced to wear yellow practice jerseys while winning that one by 20 points because its luggage was stuck on the abandoned airplane back home. Against Purdue, the Wolverines were able to don proper blue road uniforms — with their last names on the back and everything. Michigan’s bags were retrieved from the plane Thursday evening and shipped to the team later that night, according to spokesman Kurt Svoboda.
Michigan: Can advance to the Big Ten final with a third win in three days. No matter what happens the rest of the way in Washington, though, a trip to the NCAAs is certain.
Purdue: Will watch the TV on Sunday to find out where it’ll be sent for the NCAAs after failing boost its resume this week.
TAKING A TUMBLE
Michigan’s Moe Wagner got tangled up with a game official in the second half, sending both tumbling to the floor near Purdue’s bench. One of the official’s shoes fell off, but otherwise, both men appeared to emerge unscathed.
Michigan: Plays Minnesota or Michigan State on Saturday.