BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Hello and welcome INSIDE Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall for the final Indiana regular season home game of the year. It feels almost surreal that the season is over, but that's the COVID-infused 2020-21 season.
It's an interesting finale with the struggling Hoosiers taking on No. 3-ranked Michigan, the Big Ten leader, a sure-fire No. 1 in the NCAA Tournament and a team that keeps getting better every game. The Wolverines have beaten two top-10 teams already this week, No. 4 Ohio State and No. 9 Iowa.
Indiana has lost two in a row and is fighting for its NCAA Tournament life now. The game starts at Noon ET and is the national TV game on FOX. Here's how to watch, plus the point spread and my three keys to the game. CLICK HERE
Follow along for all the latest news and opinion from the game right here. Just keep hitting refresh.
1:48 – We're at the great under-8 timeout and Michigan leads 65-51. Trayce Jackson-Davis has scored on two straight possessions for Indiana after starting out 1-for-8 from the field.
1:40 p.m. – Franz Wagner is really good for Michigan. He's up to 21 points now, with 6-for-9 shooting from the field and he's made all eight free throws. I can see why NBA scouts like him so much.
1:19 p.m – Michigan comes out blazing with a couple of threes from Isaiah Livers, but Al Durham is answering on the other side for Indiana. Michigan leads 48-38 witha full media timeout for some reason at 18:10.
HALFTIME – Michigan is slowly and methodically pulling away. Stats are almost identical, with the exception of the free throw line and rebounds. Michigan is 16-for-18 from the stripe, and Indiana is just 6-for-9. Michigan wins the battle of the boards 22-12, and Indiana is just getting one shot. Only one offensive rebound. At the turn, it's Michigan 42-33 on a Jerome Hunter step-back jumper at the buzzer. Was called a three originally, but changed to a two. Tough half for Trayce Jackson-Davis. Just 1-for-7 from the field and 1-for-3 from the line.
12:49 p.m. We've hit the final media timeout of the half, and Michigan leads 36-28. Franz Wagner (12) and Mike Smith (10) have been hard to contain for the Hoosiers. There's 2:53 to go, and this is a big stretch. Indiana needs to win these final few minutes to stay engaged.
MY TWO CENTS: It took me a while to buy in to this Michigan team this season, but after watching them closely the past month or so, they are really good. They have no weaknesses, which is impressive. The get ahead by 10 here with 4:09 to go, and it looks effortless.
12:38 p.m. – We're at the under-8 timeout after a Hunter Dickinson basket for Michigan. He's fouled too. A free throw coming after the break Michigan leads 27-21. Indiana only has three turnovers so far, a point of emphasis this week with coach Archie Miller.
12:35 – A great pass on a drive from Race Thompson finds Trayce Jackson-Davis coming down the lane. He dunks emphatically and is fouled, but misses the free throw. Michigan leads 22-21.
12:30 – Trey Galloway picks up a hook-and-hold flagrant foul, but Michigan's Austin Davis misses both free throws. Rob Phinisee scores for Indiana on a drive and then after a stop, Trayce Jackson-Davis gets fouled, and makes one of two free throws. Michigan leads 22-19.
12:25 p.m. – In case you were wondering, Indiana forward Race Thompson is wearing a mask for the second straight game. Took a blow to the face during practice on Tuesday. He has six points already to lead the Hoosiers. Al Durham has four. Trayce Jackson-Davis has yet to score, missing his first two shots. We're at a timeout here with Michigan leading 22-16 with 10:40 to go.
12:22 p.m. – With Jerome Hunter starting, I figured that we'd see more of freshman Jordan Geronimo today, and indeed he checks in at the 13:33 mark for Race Thompson. Michigan leads 15-14. Freshman Khristian Lander checks in at the next whistle.
12:10 p.m. – Indiana gets a couple of early threes from Rob Phinisee and Jerome Hunter, which is good to see. Phinisee was 0-for-13 shooting from the field in the past two games. Officials stop the game at 16:18 because of a clock malfunction, so they use that for the first media timeout. Indiana leads 8-7.
12:05 p.m – Officials for today's game: Paul Szelc, Kelly Pfeifer, Donnie Eppley
11:55 p.m. ET – With Armaan Franklin out, Jerome Hunter is getting his first start of the season. I thought that might be the move. He's been decent since coming back from that mini-suspension.
11:45 a.m ET – The huge news from inside Assembly Hall is that Armaan Franklin is not playing today. He's watching warmups with a boot on his injured right ankle. Here's the picture:
11:30 a.m. ET – I am absolutely stunned that the line on this game is going DOWN. Michigan was an 8.5-point favorite this morning, but now it's 7.5. I called my friend Walter Ego, but he said he couldn't talk. "I'm backing up the truck right now,'' he said.