Tom Crean & Co. may have made him sick, but other cartoon characters helped soothe the misery of at least one Wolverine on Sunday night. And that U-M player says the sooner Michigan moves on, the better.
Redshirt junior Jordan Morgan wound up going home half in shock from Michigan's 72-71 heartbreaker of a loss to Indiana at Crisler Center, giving the oft-crazed Crean and the Hoosiers the outright Big Ten championship. Morgan flipped on more basketball
but it definitely wasn't any replay of Indiana-Michigan.
He watched "Space Jam," the 1996 movie starring Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Bill Murray, Bugs Bunny and a host of others. This one featured a much more upbeat ending.
"I wasn't really feeling well," Morgan admitted. "I was kind of sick, but it's good to get a little bit of laughter. Laughter is the best healer.
"Any time you think about it, it hurts. It's disappointing. But dwelling on it isn't going to do anything for us but keep us in that state of disappointment, and that's not a good place to be. You've got to do your best to just move on from it."
Morgan's state exceeded disappointment in that final, fateful minute of play against the Hoosiers. Up five with roughly 40 seconds remaining, the Wolverines saw one shockingly slip away.
The veteran center wasn't available to talk about the game immediately afterwards, but on Tuesday, he went through the agonizing final ticks of the clock.
"I remember feeling like it was over at one point," Morgan admitted. "Slowly, things just weren't going right. Missed free throw here, a basket, missed free throw there, foul, another missed free throw and a basket. It was like, holy crap, we don't have any timeouts, and we're down by a point."
Morgan recalled motioning for sophomore point guard Trey Burke to drive past the screen he set as the final seconds slipped away. Burke flipped up a contested shot, which missed.
"It was kind of like a circus shot, but I still thought it was pretty good," freshman forward Glenn Robinson III noted. "I'm standing up under the basket, looking up at Jordan, as he tips it in."
Or, almost tips it in.
"I just followed, hoping I'd get a second chance," Morgan recalled. "I remember the ball sitting on the rim when I tipped it. For a split second, I was excited, because I thought it was in. Then it fell off, and it was just like shock. I just stood there. I didn't know what happened. I didn't really know what was going on until we got into the locker room."
"It kind of rolled off the rim," Robinson said. "I thought it was good the whole way. It just kind of took the wrong spin."
The Wolverines spun out into the night, in lost in their own thoughts. Morgan wasn't the only one sick about the game and the result.
"I went home and tried not to think about it as much," Robinson said. "I didn't watch ESPN, SportsCenter, none of that. I couldn't eat after the game. I felt sick this whole week, but after that game, it seemed to get worse."
Morgan said his queasiness "was because of the game, how hard of a game it was - how much of a fight it was, how physical, how much energy it took. I was just not feeling well. I didn't want to go eat. I just went home."
Space Jam awaited, on television. At one point - speaking of the threat from his team's cartoon foes in the movie, and not the highly animated Crean - Bugs noted: "We're going to be locked up like wild animals and then trotted out to perform for a bunch of low-brow, bug-eyed, bad-headed, humor-challenged aliens!"
Morgan smiled through the sickness, and the misery. And then he moved on.
"Any time I think about it, it's kind of disappointing," Morgan admitted. "You do your best to put it out of your mind and think about what's ahead of us. Think about the future, instead of what happened before."
Good advice for all Wolverines, starting immediately.
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