The arrival of standout freshmen Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III has made for hopes high in Ann Arbor, but living up to a No. 5 preseason ranking won’t be an easy task for Michigan. The Big Ten is the strongest, deepest conference in college basketball this year, and even the non-conference schedule features some high-powered opposition.
The toughest game in the latter category sees ACC favorite North Carolina State come to town for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. An early-season win over the sixth-ranked Wolfpack will be vital in setting the tone for a Final Four-caliber performance from Trey Burke and company.
Read on for more on the showdown with N.C. State and the rest of the most critical games facing the Wolverines in 2012-13.