With four games left on the schedule for the No. 4 Michigan Wolverines, all opponents need to watch out, even No. 9 Michigan State and No. 1 Indiana.
The Wolverines are primed to make a statement in the final stretch of their season. The remaining schedule is split into two groups: two easy contests on the road and two tougher rematches at home.
Let’s start with the easy games remaining.
The team starts off playing at Penn State on Feb. 27, which should be an easy win. Yes, the Nittany Lions gave the Wolverines some trouble in the first meeting, before falling 79-71. But do you really think that’s going to happen twice?
Penn State has yet to win a Big Ten game, and there is no way its first win is going to come against No. 4 Michigan. Sophomore Trey Burke and Junior Tim Hardaway Jr. are too competitive to allow an upset like this to happen.
Another easy game for the Wolverines is against the 13-14 Purdue Boilermakers on March 6 at the Mackey Arena. Although in a hostile environment, the Boilermakers offer no real test for the Wolverines, and will be steamrolled at home.
The two biggest tests for Michigan are against No. 9 Michigan State on March 3 and No. 1 Indiana on March 10—both home games. Both the Spartans and Hoosiers defeated the Wolverines earlier this month, but both games were away.
It’s safe to say that Michigan has bad feelings towards both squads after those losses. Couple that with the fact that the Wolverines have yet to lose a game at home, and there is a formula for two Michigan victories.
The game against Michigan State is intriguing because the Wolverines were blown out by 23 points by a hated in-state rival.
This time around though, Burke and Hardaway Jr. will be fired up for another chance to take on the Spartans.
The last time the Wolverines had a shot at redemption against a ranked opponent after facing the team on the road (Ohio State), the Wolverines bounced back with an overtime victory, at home.
And finally, the regular-season finale against No. 1 Indiana is the perfect way to end the Wolverines’ season. This will be a showdown between two of the greatest teams in the country, and better yet, a potential Final Four matchup in this year’s NCAA Tournament.
Michigan will use its momentum gained from defeating Purdue soundly and carry it over into this matchup.