Nebraska Michigan Basketball

Nebraska forward Isaiah Roby (15) tries to guard Michigan forward Ignas Brazdeikis (13) in the second half Thursday at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Ninth-ranked Michigan battered reeling Nebraska to the tune of 82-53 in a Big Ten men's basketball game Thursday night in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

There's no reason to overthink anything after this mismatch.

But I probably will, anyway.

Three quick thoughts:

1. During the final minutes, with Michigan (25-4, 14-4) toying with Nebraska (15-14, 5-13), my night was reduced to a back-and-forth with one of my brothers about whether or not Dan Dakich is a quality analyst. Dakich did the game for ESPN alongside play-by-play man Dave Flemming. Dakich did a lot of philosophizing and theorizing during the broadcast because the game was a blowout from the start. My take on Dakich: He's entertaining, engaging and knowledgeable about hoops. But I would caution against listening too closely to what he says because it sometimes makes little sense.

To wit: "He's a terrific player," Dakich said of Nebraska senior James Palmer. "But terrific players play well and hard all the time."

In light of Palmer's no-show performance (seven points on 3-for-15 shooting), Dakich's assessment seemed a bit contradictory.

Or perhaps I'm overthinking it.

2. Credit embattled Nebraska coach Tim Miles for trying something — anything — to get some positive results out of this game. He benched three starters — Palmer, junior forward Isaiah Roby and sophomore guard Thomas Allen — to begin the second half. Nebraska trailed 43-21 at the break. Game over.

Dakich was extremely critical of Palmer and Roby, describing their first-half performance as "awful."

Roby finished the game with just six points on 2-for-7 shooting while adding five rebounds. Allen had two points on 1-for-5 shooting.

So, the benched trio wound up a combined 6-for-27 from the field.

The threesome entered the second half with 12 minutes left and the Huskers down by 25 points.

"They can learn something about themselves if they get after it and get after it hard," Dakich said as the three entered the game.

They did compete harder in the final 30 minutes.

Self-critique: I'm quoting Dakich quite a bit here even though I criticized him earlier in this report.

I'll get my stuff together, eventually.

3. Most folks figured Michigan would bounce back impressively in the wake of its home loss to Michigan State last weekend. Even so, I still thought it was possible that the Wolverines might overlook the Huskers because Miles' crew has been struggling so mightily of late.

I overthought it.

Michigan defended extremely well, as it typically does. The Wolverines' defense flowed into their offense as John Beilein's team repeatedly got excellent looks at the rim. Michigan, playing without starter Charles Matthews (12.8 ppg), ended up 30-for-54 from the field (55.5 percent), including 12-for-22 from three-point territory (54.5). Meanwhile, Nebraska was 23-for-67 (34.3) and 2-for-12 (16.6).

"They keep driving into bad spots and shooting over guys," Dakich said of the Huskers, who looked rattled most of the night.

There I go again, quoting Big Dan.

He had plenty to say Thursday night. Hey, at least he showed up ready to work.

Not everybody in the arena could say that.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7440 or ssipple@journalstar.com. On Twitter @HuskerExtraSip.


Husker columnist

Steven, a lifelong Nebraskan, newspaper enthusiast and UNL grad, joined the Journal Star in 1990 and has covered NU football since 1995.

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