Michigan’s turnaround has been attributed to a number of different things. Read enough articles, listen to enough podcasts, or watch enough TV and you might think it is about Isaiah Livers, Austin Davis, 3-point shooting, confidence, or something else entirely.
There’s merit to each of those narratives, but the real story is defense. Michigan’s defense ranked last in the Big Ten when Michigan was 2-6. It is the best in the conference since.
Games at the RAC are always New Jersey-style street fights. The sort of ugly basketball fans that local fans revel in but visiting teams want no part of.
They aren’t won with skill or shooting; they come down to toughness, defense, and grit. Michigan was up for the fight on Wednesday night.
The Wolverines allowed an 11-0 run that spanned halftime and came together when teams are supposed to fold. Michigan outscored the Scarlet Knights 32-15 over the final 17 minutes to earn their best road win of the season.