Michigan lost to Penn State in one of the most surprising results of the Big Ten season so far. It was the culmination to their terrible month of February, where they went just 3-4, with all four losses on the road. Luckily for them, February ends today.
The unlucky part for Michigan is that Michigan State comes to Ann Arbor on Sunday for a massive game. A few weeks ago, people would circle this game on the calendar as one that would shape the Big Ten title race. Now, Michigan is not only pretty much out of the conference race, but also in a situation where they need to win the game just to stay afloat.
Michigan has had all five of their losses on the road but remain undefeated at Crisler Arena. But to keep their home success going they will have to bounce back from their worst loss in a while and beat one of the best teams in the country.
Last time Michigan and Michigan State met it was in East Lansing and the Spartans crushed Michigan. The game was not even competitive after the first five minutes and really legitimized Michigan State’s claim to be the best team in the state. Now on their home turf, Michigan has to respond with a win here. The sour tatste of losing to Penn State can’t be left to fester, as Michigan needs to get back on track and have some momentum before they head to the Big Ten tournament in just two weeks.
Michigan can do a lot on Sunday. They can both respond to their humiliating loss at Penn State, beat their rival, Michigan State, and remain undefeated at home. Most importantly, Michigan has to finish strongly to get a second seed in the NCAA Tournament, as their stock is dropping fast. This season in the Big Ten , the idea that one win can fix everything has rung true. Illinois salvaged their forsaken conference season with a win over Indiana and so did Minnesota. Now, Michigan has their chance.