Team 103

Beilein looking for outliers in regular-season stretch run

With just five regular-season games left, Michigan is in a three-way tie with Purdue and Michigan State at the top of the Big Ten standings. But it isn’t just those three teams that have a chance at winning the league.

Maryland sits 1.5 games back, and Wisconsin is two games behind the leaders. Even Iowa, three games off the lead, has a chance at a share of the title.

Thursday night’s game at Minnesota will be critical for the Wolverines as they try to build momentum down this final stretch that includes playing the Spartans twice and traveling to play the Terrapins. It’s a difficult five-game stretch and one that Michigan needs to do well in to maintain a chance at winning the conference.

“I know (this game) is really important for Minnesota,” said John Beilein on Wednesday. “It’s just as important for us. As you can see, we’ve got a great battle. Oh, about five or six teams who have, still, a chance to win the Big Ten championship, get one of the first four byes in the Big Ten Tournament. There’s a lot at stake right now in all these games.”

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