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Stat Watch: A look at the numbers behind Michigan’s 2018 hoops season

For some, 2018 wasn’t so great. For Michigan basketball, it was pretty damn fun.

The Wolverines finished the calendar year 34-5. The year included a Big Ten Tournament title, an NCAA Championship appearance, vengeful blowouts over Villanova and North Carolina and a perfect start to the 2018-19 season.

Also, a perfect record against Michigan State, complete with two broken ankles.

The record is the most important number. Here are some other statistical highlights:

16-3: Michigan’s record against top-50 teams according to Ken Pomeroy. That includes the aforementioned triumphs over the Spartans, Tar Heels and Wildcats, as well as a historic, buzzer-beating three by Jordan Poole over Houston during March Madness.

23-5: The mark against top-100 efficiency teams, including a 14-game winning streak that led to the title game against Villanova.

2: According to Bart Torvik, Luke Yaklich has fielded the No. 2 defense nationally, allowing a paltry .89 points per possession.

25: That’s how many games the Wolverines allowed less than a point per possession. The lowest output was .59 per against Holy Cross in November.

3-0: The record against the traditional rivals. Michigan topped MSU at Breslin 82-72 on Jan. 13, and then 75-64 at Madison Square Garden in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals.

On Feb. 18, the Wolverines avenged an December 2017 loss to Ohio State, triumphing 74-62 in Crisler Center.

14: The number of made threes in the 99-72 Sweet Sixteen blowout over Texas A&M.

Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman led the way with four, while Moe Wagner drained three more. Even walk-on guard CJ Baird got in on the action in the final minutes.

11.7: The average margin of victory over the last 39 games. From January to April, the Wolverines won by a total of 221 points in 21 victories.

This season, they have already outscored opponents by a total of 235 points. Through 13 games, that’s an 18-point average margin.

Lastly, John Beilein produced one more first-round NBA Draft pick in Moe Wagner, whom the Lakers selected with at the No. 25 spot.

Since 2007, Beilein has mentored seven first-rounders, including Wagner Tim Hardaway, Jr., Trey Burke, Nik Stauskas, Mitch McGary, Caris Levert and D.J. Wilson.

Here’s to a Happy New Year for Michigan hoops. 2019 starts in earnest, as conference play resumes Thursday against Penn State (7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN).

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