The Michigan Wolverines have had a tough time of it lately.
Michigan was undefeated for the first two months of the season. On January 12, they were 16-0 and ready to become the number one-ranked team in the nation. At that point, everyone raved about the Wolverines’ offensive efficiency, their tough defense, their talented players like Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr., and their heralded freshmen like Glenn Robinson III and Nik Stauskas.
On January 13, however, Ohio State held the high-flying Michigan offense to 53 points and beat the Wolverines in Columbus. Since then, the other coaches in the Big Ten — which some people call the best-scouted league in the country — have tried to exploit the weaknesses first exposed by the Buckeyes. Michigan ended the regular season 25-7 and lost 5 of its last 10 games. Today Michigan got knocked out of the Big Ten Tournament by Wisconsin, losing 69-58. The Wolverines lost even though they held Wisconsin to only 17 points in the first half.
Michigan fans are depressed, but college basketball is full of ups and downs. If I were a Michigan fan — and I’m not, of course — I’d be glad that the Wolverines are done with the Big Ten and can focus on the NCAA Tournament. Michigan has a lot of talent, and if they play teams that don’t play defense like they do in the Big Ten, Michigan could make a run in the Big Dance. I wouldn’t count them out.