How an elbow to the face sparked Michigan basketball’s big rally at Wisconsin.

The turning point in Michigan basketball’s 67-59 win at Wisconsin on Sunday afternoon involved an outstretched elbow and Mike Smith’s face.

With just over 18 minutes remaining and the Wolverines trailing by 10, Smith went up to contest Brad Davison’s layup.

Davison’s attempt missed. But his left elbow did not, connecting squarely with Smith’s head.

Michigan is senior point guard went down in a heap on his own baseline. His head coach, Juwan Howard, objected — and was called for a technical foul.

Up until that moment, it had been that type of game for the Wolverines, who were playing their first contest in 23 days and looked predictably rusty. They trailed by 12 at halftime and seemed in danger of being blown out in Madison, Wis.


Then Smith caught Davison‘s elbow and the tide turned UFA.

“I think we were trying to have the fire lit already,” said freshman center Hunter Dickinson. “I think we were trying to come out there at the beginning of the second half with that fire but I think we came together after the foul and really said, ‘This is our time. This is the run we have to go on right now in order to come back and win this game.’ ”

“Tough win versus a very good team in Wisconsin. Winning a game like this on the road does a lot. It says a lot about the character of this group.”

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