2023-24 Season

Big Ten Tournament: Michigan vs. Penn State Preview

Michigan and Penn State will tangle in the late-night game on Wednesday at the Big Ten Tournament (Peacock, around 9 p.m.). It’s no secret that playing on Wednesday means the season hasn’t been successful, but tonight’s game appears to be a matchup of one team still battling and one that has mailed it in.

Penn State has lost plenty of games this year and may still finish under .500, but the Nittany Lions have stuck to the script. They still play hard and scrapped their way to nine conference wins, two more than they earned in non-conference play. Over the last five games, Penn State has been playing like a top-50 team, according to Bart Torvik.

Michigan’s season has gone from mediocre to bad to much worse. The Wolverines weren’t a good team when Olivier Nkamhoua was sidelined for the year — their loss to MSU pushed the record to 8-19 — but they haven’t been competitive since. In the five games since Nkamhoua last played, Michigan is 0-5, has been outscored by 18 points per game, and is playing like Torvik’s 220th-best team in the country. Only Louisville and DePaul have been worse.

It’s hard to look at tonight’s matchup as anything other than a matchup between a that wants to keep playing and a team ready to turn the page.

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