Man did Michigan's basketball team look awful Tuesday night at Penn State. The Wolverines had a deer in the headlights look in the second half when a 29-22 halftime deficit deteriorated to a 53-30 rout. Penn State cruised from there, winning 73-58 and the Wolverines have now lost three in a row. They better beat Iowa at home this Saturday night. Michigan has fallen to 3-4 in league play with 11 games remaining. They have tough home games left among their remaining five against the likes of Purdue and Michigan State and they may have to beat the Spartans to cement an NCAA tournament field berth for the first time since 1998. Michigan may also have to win at least one game in the Big Ten tournament.
Michigan self destructs, in my opinion, with all of its three point attempts. The Wolverines were 5 of 30 at Penn State, many taken when they were trying to make up their soaring deficit. The problem is when threes miss, the long rebounds tend to go to the defense. Michigan is mistaken by not trying to work the ball inside and it's been this way for awhile. Michigan is now 13-6 on the season and I still think somehow the Wolverines will make the tournament because the Wolverines are still the only team to beat second ranked Duke at the moment. And the win over UCLA on a neutral floor is also impressive even though both wins came a while back.
Tom Izzo says the Big Ten champ needs six road wins-- impossible I say, except for his Spartans. No other Big Ten team, in my judgment, is capable of winning six out of nine on the road. The Spartans, barring injuries, go on to their first Big Ten title since 2001 and more than likely they win by a couple of games. At the worst they 'll be 14-4 and already everyone else has at least two losses.