Northwestern coach Bill Carmody shed his jacket with about three minutes to play. By then, most NU fans had bitten their nails off completely.
It was a classic, grind-it-out Big Ten slugfest that could not be decided without overtime. And the extra session was a nightmare for the Wildcats, who gave up three 3-pointers before they scored a point.
Final score: Michigan 67, Northwestern 55.
It was another painful defeat for Northwestern, right there with the Illinois and Purdue home games and the Michigan overtime loss in Ann Arbor.
But this one might have been worse because the stakes were so high.
Northwestern fell to 16-11 and 6-9 in the Big Ten. The Wildcats have to win at least two of their final three to have any shot of getting an at-large bid to their first NCAA tournament.
Northwestern led 47-43 with 2:42 left in the game on John Shurna's first basket of the second half. But Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. responded by making huge 3s.
With the game tied at 49-49, JerShon Cobb missed from 3-point land, and Burke grabbed the rebound. Burke took Michigan's last shot of regulation but missed everything on a long, contested 3-pointer.
But he made up for it in overtime by scoring the first points, on a 3.
Northwestern did itself in by scoring just 18 points in the second half. And the Wildcats' 3-point shooting was an abysmal 3-for-16. Cobb and Alex Marcotullio combined to go 0-for-6.
Shurna finished with 14. Burke scored a game-high 19 for Michigan (21-7, 11-4).