Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke made nearly every shot they took from 3-point range in the second half.
When that somehow wasn't enough, Michigan's talented tandem sealed a win with a little desperation on defense.
Hardaway blocked Ohio State's Aaron Craft on the final play, giving the third-ranked Wolverines a 76-74 overtime win over the 10th-ranked Buckeyes. Hardaway kept Michigan in the game with a relentless streak of 3-point shooting, then both teams struggled through a tense, low-scoring extra session that finally ended when Craft was stopped three straight times in the final minute.
"Ohio State-Michigan is one of the biggest rivalries in college basketball — in college, period," Burke said. "Just to come out and grit it out all the way to the end of regulation and in overtime, it shows a lot, how this team can stay together."
Hardaway scored 23 points, including five straight 3-pointers in the second half. Michigan made all eight of its attempts from beyond the arc in that half until Burke finally missed a last-second try that would have won it.
Burke bounced back with a 3 to start overtime that made it 75-72, then neither team scored until Craft's driving layup with just under a minute to play.
Craft followed that up by stealing the ball from Burke, but the Michigan point guard hustled back, preventing an easy basket and nearly stealing the ball back. Instead, it went out of bounds to Ohio State, but Craft's first good chance to give the Buckeyes the lead had come and gone.
Craft then drove past Burke and tried a shot from near the free throw line, but Burke recovered and blocked it from behind. Another opportunity had slipped away for the Buckeyes, who had to foul Michigan's Glenn Robinson III.
When Robinson made only one of two free throws, Craft rushed the ball one last time into the frontcourt. Burke defended him almost all the way to the hoop — then Hardaway smothered Craft's last-ditch attempt at a layup.
"There was a bit of contact," Craft said. "But they didn't call it, so I guess it wasn't a foul."
After scoring at will most of the second half, Ohio State (17-5, 7-3 Big Ten) had managed only two points in overtime.
Deshaun Thomas scored 17 points for the Buckeyes.
Michigan and Ohio State were meeting for the first time with both teams ranked in the top 10. The Buckeyes handed the Wolverines their first loss of the season last month. Michigan rebounded and was ranked No. 1 in the country before a loss Saturday night at Indiana, which moved to No. 1.
With a sold-out, early arriving crowd cheering them on Tuesday, the Wolverines (21-2, 8-2) went on a 12-0 run in the first half. They led 18-8 after Burke scored off a nifty hesitation dribble.
"With that crowd right now, it was going to be tough to beat us today, even though we didn't play our best," said Michigan coach John Beilein, who was celebrating his 60th birthday. "With that crowd and this atmosphere, it was exciting to be the coach today."
The Buckeyes settled in, eventually taking a 29-28 lead when Craft drove for a layup. Ohio State was ahead 31-30 at halftime.
The Buckeyes led 48-40 after a 3-pointer by Lenzelle Smith Jr., but Hardaway and the Wolverines rallied. Hardaway's fourth 3-pointer of the half put the Wolverines up 55-54.
With the tension mounting, both teams took advantage of fortunate bounces. After Hardaway's shot was blocked, the Wolverines came up with the loose ball and immediately got it to Burke for a 3 that put them up 68-65. At the other end, Michigan's Nik Stauskas grabbed a defensive rebound, but his poor pass bounced right to Thomas, who caught it in rhythm in front of the Ohio State bench and sank a 3 to tie it.
Smith tied it at 72 in the final minute with a shot from the left corner — his foot was on the 3-point line — and Ohio State held on to force overtime.
"We showed more heart tonight than we have in a long time, and that's big," Thomas said. "I know we didn't get the win, but if we keep playing like this, we will."