Bloomington, Ind. — After getting to the No. 1 ranking for the first time since the 1992-93 season, Michigan couldn’t hold it — against the likely new No. 1 team.
The Wolverines fell behind in the first half and worked their way back but couldn’t get the lead against No. 3 Indiana and fell, 81-73, Saturday night at Assembly Hall.
The loss for U-M (20-2, 7-2 Big Ten), coupled with No. 2 Kansas’ defeat earlier Saturday, means the Hoosiers likely will be the new No. 1 team when the rankings are released Monday.
Indiana (20-2, 8-1), which was the preseason No. 1 team, is alone in first place in the conference.
Trey Burke had 25 points and eight assists and Tim Hardaway 18 points for Michigan, which next faces Ohio State on Tuesday at Crisler Center.
After falling into double-digit deficits in each half, the Wolverines battled back each time. They trimmed Indiana’s 15-point first-half lead to 36-32 at halftime.
U-M erased the halftime deficit and tied it at 40 in the first three minutes, with a basket by Hardaway, a triple by Burke and three free throws by Stauskas after he was fouled.
But Indiana answered with an 11-0 run, keyed by Jordan Hulls’ 3-pointer and a jumper by Will Sheehey.
Michigan had another response, using an 11-2 spurt to cut the lead to 53-52. But Jeremy Hollowell had four straight points and the lead continued to seesaw back and forth.
Cody Zeller (19 points, nine rebounds) had back-to-back putback dunks and stretched it back to a six-point advantage but Burke’s three-point play halved that lead. Hulls, though, answered with another triple. Burke missed the front end of a one-and-one situation.
With a four-point lead, Victor Oladipo (17 points) converted a three-point play to push the lead to seven.
From there, Michigan never got closer than five points and cruised in the final minutes.
Indiana pulled ahead after hitting its first six field goals and led, 20-7 five minutes into the game.
After trailing by as many as 15 points in the first half, Michigan has worked its way back and had a 36-32 deficit at halftime against No. 3 Indiana at Assembly Hall.
The Hoosiers had a 28-13 lead through the first 10 minutes but Michigan went on a 10-0 run, keyed by a pair of baskets by Trey Burke, who had 14 points in the first half. But Indiana responded, getting a 6-2 spurt of its own to push the lead back nine with 3:09 remaining.
Michigan answered, with Burke hitting a pair of free throws, finding Mitch McGary on a transition basket, then finishing the half with a step-back 3-pointer to silence the raucous Indiana crowd.
The Wolverines shot just 40 percent (14-of-35), with freshman Nik Stauskas going just 1-of-8. But Burke, along with Tim Hardaway Jr. and Mitch McGary (six points each) kept it close.
Michigan’s defense was a big key in the first half, forcing 11 turnovers and taking a 12-2 advantage in points off turnovers.
Jordan Morgan, who missed Wednesday’s win over Northwestern after suffering a sprained right ankle on Sunday against Indiana, came off the bench but played just two minutes.