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Freshman forward Mitch McGary is emerging as a rebounding machine and provides Michigan with a spark of energy off the bench.
Michigan is coming off of a tough loss on the road to the Hoosiers, but the Wolverines can quickly get back on track with a win at home at the Crisler Center against the rival Buckeyes.
Dating back to last season, Michigan has a record of 28-1 at home, so they're counting on a win against Ohio State.
The Wolverines cannot afford to get behind in this upcoming game. ESPN.com's recap addressed Michigan's slow start against the Hoosiers: "But the biggest problem was that Michigan spent virtually the entire night trying to play catch-up after Indiana jumped to a 20-7 lead just 5:02 into the game."
The Wolverines also went down on the road to Ohio State, trailing by as many as 21 points, before rallying in the second half to tie the game.
Michigan fought back in both road losses, but ultimately the holes they dug in each game were too deep.
Freshman forward Glenn Robinson III struggled in the loss to Indiana and freshman guard Nik Stauskas struggled in both games. Against the Hoosiers, Robinson III scored two points on 1-of-6 shooting and was virtually a non-factor. Stauskas also struggled with his shooting, going 3-of-10 from the floor, including 1-of-5 from three-point land.
Michigan is a very young team and needs its youngsters to step up. And they will.
After being tested in their two losses, Michigan's younger players gained some big-game experience that will go a long way.
The Wolverines have the necessary offensive talent, defensive toughness and elite point guard play. Add to those things the fact that the Wolverines are getting significant contributions from the bench.
Junior forward Jon Horford and freshman forward Mitch McGary are two reservers who have been providing Michigan with quality minutes. The duo adds depth to the front line with their rebounding and intense play.
In his last three games, McGary averaged 7.3 points per game and 8.7 rebounds per game. He also gives Michigan the energy up front to complement the team's fast guard play.
The Wolverines also have a favorable schedule in comparison to some of the other contenders in the Big Ten.
Michigan has two true road tests remaining: the Wisconsin Badgers, who are always tough at home, and the Michigan State Spartans.
But, with winnable home games against Ohio State and Indiana, the Wolverines are in very good position to steal back the top spot in the Big Ten and take home the regular season conference title.
Indiana controls its destiny and looks poised to win the conference, but the Wolverines have the best outlook, even after losing at Indiana.
Michigan will take home the Big Ten regular season title.