MADISON, Wisconsin (AP) – Michigan coach Juvan Howard is upset after Wisconsin called a timeout in the final seconds of a game the Badgers have already put out of reach.
The way Howard reacted could have serious implications for the rest of the Michigan season.
Howard hits Wisconsin assistant Joe Crabbenhoft after arguing with Wisconsin coach Greg Gard during a handshake after the Badgers ’77-63 victory on Sunday. The “Big Ten” said it planned to “take swift and appropriate disciplinary action once the review is complete.”
During his post-game press conference, Howard said he did not like Wisconsin calling for a timeout with 15 seconds left and the Badgers leading by 15.
“I thought there was no need for that at the moment, especially because it’s a big predisposition,” Howard said.
After the game, Howard pointed his finger at Garda. Howard later reached through the crowd to get to Crabbenhoft – repetitions showed that Howard no longer had a clenched fist and had an open hand by the time he hit Crabbenhoft on the left side of his head.
Players from each side got involved in the fight, and a video appeared showing Musa Diabat of Michigan and Jacobi Neath of Wisconsin striking.
Howard said he reacted after someone from Wisconsin laid his hands on him. The video showed Gard touching Howard’s hand or wrist with his hands, trying to explain the reason for the timeout.
“I asked the head coach that I would remember this because of the timeout,” Howard said. “Someone touched me and I think it was very unnecessary to be touched when we were talking and talking to each other. That’s what made it worse. “
Wisconsin Sports Director Chris Mackintosh said he had already contacted Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren about the situation, adding that Wisconsin had staff who were “injured and traumatized.”
“There is no place, no place for such behavior in any competition, especially in the Big Ten,” said Mackintosh. “The Big Ten are proud of their sportsmanship. The Big Ten are proud to be acting with the class. That didn’t happen today. “
Michigan Athletic Director Ward Manuel made a statement saying he apologized to the Macintosh and that Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman contacted Wisconsin Chancellor Rebecca Blank to “apologize for being absolutely unacceptable.”
“There is no excuse for any of our staff or student-athletes to engage in a physical quarrel with others, regardless of inciting factors,” Manuel said.
The Big Ten issued a statement saying they were “aware of a physical altercation involving Michigan head coach Juvan Howard” and that she was assessing the incident. Howard said he would respect any decision made by the big ten.
“We will look more closely at the situation and will work with the G10 conference as they determine their disciplinary action and determine whether further disciplinary action is needed,” Manuel said.
This is not Howard’s first high-profile incident with another Big Ten coach.
Last season, Howard fought with then-Maryland coach Mark Turjan during a conference tournament. Howard had to be restrained. He committed two technical fouls and was removed from the game Michigan eventually won 79-66.
Guard said he scheduled a time-out because his reserves were in play and had only four seconds to bring the ball out of midfield. The timeout gives them 10 seconds.
“I wasn’t going to put them in a position where the ball had already been knocked off the field to break the press in four seconds,” Gard said.
Johnny Davis scored 25 points to help Wisconsin (21-5, 12-4) move into the closed game. Wisconsin beat Michigan 44-25 in the last 18 1/2 minutes.
Davis went into the personal series with a score of 9-0 and blocked the shot for 2 minutes 12 seconds to bring the Badgers ahead 56-41.
Hunter Dickinson scored 21 points behind Michigan (14-11, 8-7), who scored just 4 of 25 from a 3-point distance. Eli Brooks scored 14 points and Devante Jones finished with 11.
Stephen Crowley scored 11 points for Wisconsin, while Brad Davison, Chuckie Hepburn and Tyler Wall added 10 each.
Wall said nothing unusual happened during the game that could have predicted what would happen next.
“I’d say it was just a good 40-minute basketball game – a physical game, Big Ten basketball,” Wall said.
Everything changed in the line of handshake after the game.
Wisconsin picked up the jersey of former Badger star Michael Finley at number 24 during the break ceremony. The band from Wisconsin wore white T-shirts throughout the game № 24.
Finley joins Ebo Nicholas (№ 8) and Frank Kaminski (№ 44) as the only Wisconsin players to have knitted T-shirts in the rafters. These three numbers can still be worn by current and future Badgers.
“I came to the university not for a purpose,” Finley said before the game. “My main goal was to win as many basketball games as possible, to put the Wisconsin basketball program at stake, and everything that happened after that happened.”
Finley, the first Badger to score 2,000 points in his career, played for Wisconsin from 1991 to 1995 and led the 1994 team to its first in 47 years of participating in the NCAA Tournament. He played in the NBA from 1995 to 2010, won the San Antonio Spurs title in 2007 and won two qualifiers for the All-Star Game.
The big picture
Michigan: Wolverines wasted an opportunity to boost their powers in the NCAA tournament and heard the Wisconsin crowd chanting “NIT” in the final seconds. But the bigger question now is Howard’s immediate future and what discipline he may face.
Wisconsin: Davis is the guy who could carry the Badgers on a deep post-season run, but Crowley and Hepburn’s performances are also encouraging.
SUMMARY OF THE SURVEY
After winning in Indiana with this home triumph over Michigan, Wisconsin is set to climb several places on Monday when trying to return to the top 10.
Michigan: Ratters hosts Wednesday.
Wisconsin: Minnesota on Wednesday.