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Michigan coach John Beilein says he made a crucial error that cost his team valuable time in the final minutes last night.
With 52 seconds left, Michigan was down 78-74 and Louisville had the ball. Michigan only had five team fouls, so they had to foul twice in order to send Louisville to the line for one-and-one free throws.
But instead of fouling as quickly as possible, Michigan waited 15 seconds to commit the first of the two fouls necessary to put Louisville on the line.
According to Beilein, that was a brain fart by him. He thought they only had to foul once to put Louisville on the line, so he told his team to wait and try and foul Louisville’s Gorgui Dieng, a poor free throw shooter. He said after the game (via the Detroit Free Press):
“I thought (they) were in the one-and-one. It was a coaching error.”
Michigan didn’t get the second foul until there was 29 seconds left. So, in effect, the blunder cost them about ~15 seconds of valuable time.
Louisville made all their free throws down the stretch, so it probably wouldn’t have made a difference. But the game would have been significantly different if Michigan would have gotten the ball back with 45 seconds left rather than 29 seconds left.
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