For the second game this week, Michigan battled its way to a road comeback, had a chance to win, and came up short. It was another defeat that proved how much this Wolverine team has improved while reminding us that it hasn’t been able to outrun its fatal flaw.
The Wolverines are just 4-12 in close games this season, 330th best in the country, and could cut up a three-minute highlight reel of coulda-been game-winners. Instead, they are on the outside of the NCAA Tournament looking in. They have a team that can compete with any in the conference, but needs a weekend run in the Big Ten Tournament to have a dream of booking a trip to Dayton.
A team playing its best basketball of the season for a week, only to come up with a pair of agonizing defeats in back-to-back outings. A group that feels tantalizingly close to breaking through, but is on the verge of the entire effort being for naught.
All while battling the sinking feeling that nothing about “next year” is guaranteed and having one of the youngest teams in the country isn’t the building block that it used to be in this sport.