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Kobe Bufkin leads Michigan basketball to thrilling overtime victory

Michigan basketball is on fire and doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon.



Michigan guard Kobe Bufkin dribbles against Wisconsin guard Max Klesmit during the first half on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023, at Crisler Center.

What a game! Despite trailing most of the game, Wisconsin nearly found a way to steal the game from the Wolverines. However, following an incredible buzzer-beater from Michigan basketball star Hunter Dickinson, the Wolverines were able to pull away late, winning the game 87-79.

Winning in dramatic fashion

Down three with seconds to go in regulation, things weren’t looking great for the Wolverines. Michigan forward Terrance Williams II was set to inbound the ball, and when Michigan’s three-point specialists were covered, he was left with no choice but to chuck it up to center Hunter Dickinson. With time expiring, Dickinson caught the ball and threw up a hail mary, nailing a three-pointer to send the game into overtime.

In overtime, this momentum continued as the Wolverines made big shot after big shot. In just five minutes, Michigan basketball went on to outscore Wisconsin 19-11. The Wolverines knew this was a must-win moment, and they played accordingly.

Stars were shining

Over the last couple of weeks, Michigan basketball has found multiple players who are more than capable of creating their own shots, and this showed up in a big way. Despite Jett Howard, their second-leading scorer sitting out, there was no lack of big play from the Wolverines.

Hunter Dickinson, Kobe Bufkin and Dug McDaniel each scored at least 20 points on the day, and every point counted. Bufkin led the charge with 28 points, a new career high, while Dickinson was just behind him with 23 points.

There was some fantastic defensive play, along with the stellar offensive performances, as the team recorded four steals and six blocks on the day. Dickinson and Tarris Reed Jr recorded two blocks each, while Bufkin led the way with two steals. Michigan needed some big performances from their big names, which is precisely what they received.

NCAA Tournament hopes are still alive

If a win like that didn’t get you excited enough, this victory could potentially help to extend the Wolverines’ season. For Michigan basketball, this will go down as a Quad-2 win, which, while it doesn’t significantly help their resume, it certainly doesn’t hurt.

Michigan basketball is in must-win territory for the remainder of the season, and they showed they are up to the challenge. Early in the season, the team likely would not have been able to pull off that win, but they’ve learned to play together at the perfect time. They are communicating well and have been feeding off of each other’s energy over the last few weeks. If they continue playing this way, the sky is the limit for this Michigan basketball team.

In addition, this win puts the Wolverines in a four-way tie for second place in the Big Ten, alongside Indiana, Northwestern and Maryland. Suppose Michigan can find a way to stay in second and pull off late-season wins over Illinois and Indiana. In that case, it will put them in a fantastic position going into the Big Ten Tournament and possibly the NCAA Tournament.

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A recent graduate from Kalamazoo College, Tyler has four years experience in sports writing. He currently works as assistant editor for Blue By Ninety and specializes in a variety of sports such as football, swimming and diving, and basketball.