The No. 3 Michigan Wolverines have had one heck of a season and quite a good week. In a six day span, Michigan beat No. 4 Ohio State, No. 9 Iowa, and Indiana. Michigan now stands at 18-1 on the season and needs to win just one of its last three games to secure a Big Ten regular season title.
Michigan’s 73-57 victory over Indiana on Saturday made an impression on IU coach Archie Miller.
“There’s a reason I think Michigan is championship good and I think a lot of people will talk about their skill level and a lot of people are going to talk about their versatility and their ball movement and how hard they are to guard. I think they’re one of the most difficult teams to play against on the other end of the floor,” Miller said. “I mean, between Wagner, Livers and Big Hunter, you’re looking at 6’10” to 6’9” to 7’2” across the board, and with Livers’ and Wagner’s ability to switch, things are very difficult across the board.”
When Miller was asked how Michigan seemingly has no weakness, he gave an in depth response that praised UM from top to bottom, saying they’re the real deal.
“No question, they deserve all of the — whatever the word you want to use, accolades, praise. They deserve it all. First and foremost, I think regardless of how they play on offense and defense, they have a great spirit about them. I think that’s one thing you’d probably have to look at Michigan and just look at the way that they vibe and they play on both ends of the floor. They get after you, they play hard for one another, they have a great bounce to them, so you can tell they’re very together. That’s a big part of what they’re doing.
“They have amazing size, like versatile size on both ends of the floor. They have — to me (Isaiah) Livers is the most difficult matchup for teams to figure out unless you’re really, really small. But between (Franz) Wagner and him, that’s a pick your poison sometimes between how you can guard those two guys. Both guards (Mike Smith and Eli Brooks), they both shoot, but they both really drive. And then the big fella (Hunter Dickinson), he’s a problem too, now. He’s as good as they’re going to get inside the box. When he catches it he’s got great hands and he can really score. But to me, yeah, they’re complete, and as they approach here toward the finish, they have a great opportunity to do and go as far as anybody in the country. I haven’t seen some of the other teams. I know within our league if you do what they’re doing, you’re the real deal.”
As Michigan gears up for it’s post-season run they’ll finish the season out in playoff-like atmosphere when they take on No. 5 Illinois and Michigan State the final two games of the season. The praise Michigan’s now receiving from the likes of Miller is well earned, but now they’ll have to prove if they are indeed championship good, as Miller believes they are. Michigan came into the season unranked, but that now is a distant memory.
As it stands now, more people believe in Michigan than don’t. Most analysts realize Michigan is in the top tier of programs this season. And for Michigan to continue further ascension in the month of March they’ll have to keep doing what has propelled them to this point... playing with an edge. Miller says Michigan has a great spirit about them, and he might be onto something.