ANN ARBOR, Mich. | For the first time since the start of Big Ten play, Michigan has to recover from a loss.
That leaves coach John Beilein a bit uncertain about how his team will react.
"You do not know," he said. "That's the beauty of coaching 19-year-old kids."
Michigan's unbeaten run in conference play came to an end Sunday in a 63-52 loss at Indiana. The Wolverines have reached the halfway point of their Big Ten schedule tied for first, exceeding expectations after losing big man Mitch McGary, a Chesterton product, to a back injury. Now, however, they're in the middle of a five-games-in-13-days stretch that leaves little time for major adjustments along the way.
"We're in a week right now where we can't practice as long," Beilein said. "It's difficult, but we just keep moving on."
The 10th-ranked Wolverines (16-5, 8-1) host Nebraska tonight.
Michigan has been able to replace McGary, who is out indefinitely, while Nik Stauskas, Caris LeVert and freshman Derrick Walton have all contributed on the perimeter. The Wolverines lost guards Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. to the NBA after last year's Final Four run, but Michigan has remained difficult to defend.
Indiana, however, shut down Stauskas, who scored only six points on 1-for-6 shooting against the Hoosiers. It was a rare off day for the 6-foot-6 sophomore.
"He's a focal point of our offense, but I believe he understands now, he's a focal point of people's defense," Beilein said. "That's what you get."
Indiana limited Stauskas, and Lake Central graduate Glenn Robinson III's impact was minimal as well. Beilein pointed out that it can be hard to make adjustments from possession to possession in basketball.
"It's a flow sport. You don't have huddle time — 'Oh, I see what they're doing, let's run this from our other play list.' You don't have that opportunity," Beilein said. "You don't have huddle-ups that last 30 seconds and you can redirect. Flow sports, it's difficult to change."
Nebraska (11-9, 3-5) was one of six Big Ten teams with exactly five conference losses heading into Tuesday night's action — only Michigan, Michigan State and Iowa have fewer. It's been teams like Nebraska, Northwestern and Penn State — who are unheralded but capable of an upset — that have made this conference race so fascinating this season.
The Cornhuskers nearly knocked off Michigan last month, but the Wolverines were able to come away with a 71-70 win on the road.
"We're playing a team, Nebraska, it's experienced — it's probably one of the older teams as far as age, in the league," Beilein said. "They've always been talented. Now I see a newer chemistry with them, that they're playing as well as anybody in the league right now."
Wisconsin 75, Illinois 63: Sam Dekker and Ben Brust scored 16 points apiece Tuesday and Wisconsin ended a two-game losing streak with a win at Illinois.
Traevon Jackson and Nigel Hayes had 14 each for Wisconsin (18-5, 5-5 Big Ten).
The loss extended the misery for Illinois (13-10, 2-8). The Illini have lost eight straight. That streak started with a 95-70 blowout by the Badgers in Madison on Jan. 8.
Wisconsin's biggest edge was from 3-point range. The Badgers were 10 of 23. Illinois was just 4 of 10 on 3-pointers.
Four of Wisconsin's 3-pointers were Dekker's. They included a pair over the final three minutes that kept the Illini at arm's length. The last of them made the score 66-57 with 2:38 to play and gave the Badgers a comfortable edge.
Rayvonte Rice led Illinois with 24 points and nine rebounds.
Marquette 69, Butler 62: Todd Mayo scored 17 points off the bench and led a second-half charge from a 10-point deficit to help Marquette beat Butler.
Mayo hit seven field goals after halftime and the Golden Eagles (13-10, 5-5 Big East) avoided a regular-season sweep to the Bulldogs (12-10, 2-8).
The junior guard riled up the crowd after tipping away a rebound for a steal, then going the length of the court for a three-point play off a layup and a 62-57 lead with 3:02 left.
Marquette pulled away from there after shutting down the paint against Butler, who got 16 points from Kellen Durham.
Freshman forward Andrew Chrabascz drove the paint for most of his 10 points, all in the second half.
Elijah Brown's jumper with 13:03 left gave Butler a 43-33 lead before Marquette started chipping away.
Northern Illinois 53, Miami (Ohio) 41: Northern Illinois trailed for most of the game until a Travon Baker 3-pointer put the Huskies over the top en route to a 53-41 victory over Miami (Ohio) Tuesday night.
Baker's deep basket for the lead came in the midst of a 15-0 run midway through the second half. Aaron Armstead reeled off the first eight points of the run with back-to-back 3-pointers and a layup to slice a nine-point deficit to one, 37-36. Baker's 3-pointer with 12 minutes remaining gave the Huskies their first lead of the game, 39-36.
Armstead, Baker and Aksel Bolin each scored 10 points for Northern Illinois (10-11, 4-5 Mid-American).
Miami (9-11, 5-4) led by as many as nine early, but just 27-26 at the break. RedHawk freshman Joshua Oswald scored Miami's first eight points of the second half as it broke away to lead 37-28. Oswald led Miami with 10 points.
No. 8 Kansas 69, Baylor 52: Naadir Tharpe scored 22 points, nine in a go-ahead run for No. 8 Kansas before halftime, and the Big 12-leading Jayhawks rebounded from their first league loss with a victory at Baylor on Tuesday night.
Andrew Wiggins overcame a slow start to score 14 points, while Perry Ellis had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Kansas (17-5, 8-1 Big 12).
Cory Jefferson had 14 points to lead Baylor (14-8, 2-7), which lost its fourth consecutive game at the Ferrell Center.
Ohio State 76, No. 17 Iowa 69: Aaron Craft had 17 points with six assists and six steals to help Ohio State upset Iowa for its third win in four games.
LaQuinton Ross added 13 points for the Buckeyes (18-5, 5-5 Big Ten), who moved back to .500 in the league after starting a surprising 2-4.
Mike Gesell had 16 points for lead Iowa (17-6, 6-4), which shot just 3 of 20 from 3-point range and lost its second straight at home.