Michigan’s season was on the brink of disaster two weeks ago after an 83-61 loss at Penn State. Since that defeat, the Wolverines have gotten back to their feet with three consecutive wins to earn an opportunity: Indiana at home on a Saturday night (6:00 p.m., ESPN).
Win the game, and Michigan is second in the Big Ten with a reasonable path to NCAA Tournament relevance. Lose the game, and Juwan Howard’s team is tumbling back toward the endless middle of the conference, needing at least four more wins with only two home games left to play.
There are more games to be played, but there might not be a more pivotal swing game left on the Wolverine schedule.
Michigan has fared well against the Hoosiers in recent history, winning nine of the last ten, but the echoes of last year’s second-half collapse in Indianapolis will be hard to forget for all involved.