Michigan is one of many teams to take a turn at No. 1 this year, but for months no one has challenged their point guard Trey Burke as the top player in college basketball. A new player has risen to the No. 2 spot in the Value Add ratings to be released Monday, but Burke showed again why he is the best player in the land when he stole the ball twice in the final 30 seconds to give No. 4 Michigan a 58-57 win over No. 9 Michigan State and hurt the Spartans chance at the Big Ten title.
Burke took the first steal and dunked it at the other end to give Michigan the lead, then stole the ball again to make sure Michigan State did not get a last second shot at the win.
Michigan’s win combined with Purdue’s upset of Wisconsin gives 13-3 Indiana a two-game lead over a four team log jam for second place that includes both Michigan teams as well as Wisconsin and Ohio State. Michigan State destroyed Michigan by 23-points at home, but could not finish the sweep.
The Spartans rallied back from a double digit deficit with help from Adreian Payne (17 points) and Gary Harris (16) and 19 offensive rebounds. Since Michigan was getting destroyed outside, Burke extended the Michigan defense and helped to cause many of the 18 turnovers forced by Michigan.
If Michigan can go on the road to beat Purdue, and Indiana stumbled at home against Ohio State, then the Wolverines could still claim a share of first place in the best conference in the country with a home win against Indiana to close the season.