MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Michigan coach Juwan Howard appeared to throw a punch after arguing with Wisconsin coach Greg Gard at the postgame handshake line following the 77 win -63 from the Badgers on Sunday.
It’s unclear what upset Howard, but Wisconsin was up 15 when it took a timeout with 15 seconds left.
After the match, Howard pointed the finger at Gard. Later, Howard appeared to gain momentum towards Wisconsin assistant Joe Krabbenhoft, and players on either side got involved in the skirmish.
Johnny Davis scored 25 points for No. 15 Wisconsin (21-5, 12-4), which faces No. 5 Purdue and No. 12 Illinois for the Big Ten title.
Wisconsin outscored Michigan 44-25 in the final 18 1/2 minutes. Steven Crowl’s 3-pointer with 16:06 remaining gave the Badgers the lead for good and highlighted a 14-1 push.
Davis took over from there.
The National Player of the Year candidate went on a personal 9-0 run and blocked a shot in the space of 2 minutes and 12 seconds to give the Badgers a 56-41 lead. This stretch included a spectacular lane drive in which Davis scored with his left hand and made contact to set up a three-point play.
Michigan (14-11, 8-7) scored five straight points to cut the margin to 10, but Davis answered with a jumper and teammate Brad Davison followed with a 3-pointer.
Hunter Dickinson scored 21 points for Michigan, which shot just 4 of 25 from 3-point range. Eli Brook had 14 and DeVante’ Jones added 11.
Crowl scored 11 points for Wisconsin. Davison, Chucky Hepburn and Tyler Wahl added 10 each.
TRIBUTE TO FINLEY
Wisconsin lifted former Badgers star Michael Finley’s No. 24 jersey to the rafters in a halftime ceremony. The Wisconsin cheer squad wore white #24 t-shirts throughout the game.
Finley joins Ab Nicholas (#8) and Frank Kaminsky (#44) as the only Wisconsin players to have their jerseys in the rafters. These three numbers can still be worn by current and future badgers.
“It wasn’t something I came to college as a goal,” Finley said before the game. “My main goal was to win as many basketball games as possible, put Wisconsin’s basketball program on the map, and whatever happened after that happened.”
Finley, the first Badger to score 2,000 career points, played for Wisconsin from 1991 to 1995 and led the 1994 team to the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in 47 years. He played in the NBA from 1995 to 2010, won a title with the San Antonio Spurs in 2007 and earned two All-Star selections.
Michigan: The Wolverines squandered an opportunity to bolster their NCAA Tournament credentials and heard the Wisconsin crowd chanting “NIT” in the dying seconds. But the biggest issue right now is Howard’s immediate future and the discipline he might face.
Wisconsin: Davis is the guy who could lead the Badgers on a deep playoff run, but performances from Crowl and Hepburn also offer a source of encouragement. Davis, Davison and Wahl were scoring 65.2% of Wisconsin’s points heading into Sunday, including 67.2% in Big Ten competition. The Badgers will also need someone else to provide offense.
CONSEQUENCES OF THE SURVEY
Following up a win at Indiana with that home triumph over Michigan, Wisconsin should move up a few spots on Monday as they try to get back into the top 10.
Michigan: Hosts Rutgers on Wednesday.
Wisconsin: At Minnesota on Wednesday.
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