2022-23 Season

With OT loss to Indiana, Michigan has no more room to lose

As Hunter Dickinson sat at a press conference breaking down final plays and ball screens, none of those semantics mattered. All that counted was the 75-73 heartbreaker that Michigan had just lost in overtime at Assembly Hall. A heartbreaker that ends the regular season with the Wolverines’ backs against the wall.

Because by losing the past two contests in overtime, they’ve entered win-or-go-home territory. Well out of contention for an at-large NCAA Tournament bid without stringing at least two Big Ten Tournament wins together, they’re running out of options. One more loss, and their season ends. One more overtime and they might not get another chance.

This is it.

“There’s no other way but to now have an opportunity to hold up a trophy,” Michigan coach Juwan Howard said. “It’s gonna take one game at a time. And we don’t look ahead.”

That position is anything but enviable. Because it dropped two straight contests, Michigan will be the No. 8 seed in the Big Ten Tournament this coming week. The Wolverines could have been the No. 2 seed — enjoying its accompanying double bye — if they had pulled off either OT win this week. Instead, they’ll have to slug their way up the bracket to get there.

Beating Rutgers and Purdue would mean a pair of pivotal quadrant one victories — exactly what the Wolverines need. Actually winning those games will likely require the late-game magic that this group hasn’t been able to find consistently.

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