The Michigan Wolverines lost to the Wisconsin Badgers on Sunday afternoon, 77-63. After the game, a fight broke out between the two teams after the two head coaches, Michigan’s Juwan Howard and Wisconsin’s Greg Gard, had a testy exchange with one another. As the pair were being separated, Howard swiped at Badgers assistant Joe Krabbenhoft, making contact with his face and leading to tensions boiling over between the two teams.
The moment that appeared to lead to all of this came in the final minute of the game when Wisconsin was up comfortably — Michigan kept pressing Wisconsin’s backups, and in an attempt to avoid a backcourt violation, Gard called a timeout. Howard looked like he wanted to ignore Gard in the handshake line after the game, which led to Gard touching Howard’s left elbow in an attempt to slow him down. As he explained after the game, Howard believed that Gard touching him was the thing that escalated tensions.
Here's Juwan Howard's side to the story.
— Evan Flood (@Evan_Flood) February 20, 2022
“Well, basically, I addressed with the head coach that I will remember that, because of that timeout,” Howard said. “And for someone to touch me, I think that was very uncalled for, for him to touch me as we were verbalizing and communicating with one another. So, that’s what ended up happening, and that’s what escalated it.”
Gard, meanwhile, claimed in his press conference that he tried to tell Howard why he called the timeout, although by the sounds of things, he did this after he already touched the Michigan coach’s elbow.
Greg Gard said he was trying to explain to Howard why he took the timeout. pic.twitter.com/HSJH9TNblI
— Zach Heilprin (@ZachHeilprin) February 20, 2022
As of this writing, it is unclear if the Wisconsin assistant who Howard swung at said or did anything in particular to further fan the flames in this incident.