Over three-quarters of the way into the 2021-22 season, Michigan has yet to play two Big Ten teams. The Wolverines are rewarded with a February road trip to face both, tonight at Iowa (7:00 p.m., ESPN) and Sunday at Wisconsin, ahead of a make-or-break four-game homestand.
These road games are some of the most difficult challenges left on the schedule, but they are also terrific opportunities for Q1 victories. Last week’s blowout win over Purdue reshaped the narrative and gave the Wolverines a chance to make the NCAA Tournament. A win this week would accelerate that shift.
Michigan has to win four more regular-season games to feel good about its NCAA Tournament chances. That is significantly easier if it requires winning three out of four home games rather than running the table at the Crisler Center.
The challenge begins tonight in Iowa City against a team with one of college basketball’s best offenses on its best days, but also a team that is indifferent on the defensive end of the floor and doesn’t have a Quad 1 victory this season.