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Michigan head coach Juwan Howard takes a swing, starts fight following Wisconsin game

Things got extremely heated between the two Big Ten programs following Sunday’s game.

Syndication: HawkCentral Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

Update 6:57 p.m. Here’s some video of the incident that might provide a bit more clarity about what happened.

Update 5:20 p.m. The Big Ten has issued a statement about this incident.

The Big Ten Conference is aware of a physical altercation involving Michigan Head Coach Juwan Howard at the conclusion of the Michigan Wolverines and Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball game. The conference is in contact with both member institutions and is currently assessing the incident. The conference will provide more information and will take swift and appropriate disciplinary action when it completes its review.

Things got extremely heated following Wisconsin’s 77-63 victory over Michigan on Sunday afternoon.

During the postgame handshake line, Michigan head coach Juwan Howard and Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard got into a heated exchange, a war of words that escalated into Howard throwing a hand at Badgers assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft. This led into a scrum between the two programs.

Update: We have assistant coaches doing their best D-Generation-X impressions with a good, old fashioned crotch chop.

The skirmish apparently escalated out of Howard’s frustration over Wisconsin taking a late timeout with the game already in hand. After being tied 31-31 at halftime, the Badgers gained control in the second half and got the contest in hand.

But with 15 seconds left, Devante’ Jones stole the ball and scored for Michigan to cut the lead to 76-61. On the ensuing inbound Wisconsin’s bench was having difficulty getting the ball over the 10-second line, so head coach Greg Gard called timeout to reset the backcourt count.

How sporting that was is something you can question. But not shaking hands afterwards and possibly throwing a right in the handshake line is going to get costly for the head coach of the Wolverines. And Gard might not be innocent here either, as he clearly put at least one hand on Howard in the handshake line.

We’ll see how the Big Ten responds to this kerfuffle and the repercussions for both sides. Michigan in particular is fighting for its NCAA Tournament livelihood as a bubble team and potentially losing Howard to a suspension would not be ideal.