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Michigan basketball has massive opportunity vs. No. 3 Purdue

On Thursday, Michigan basketball is set to host No. 3 Purdue in a massive Big Ten showdown. The Wolverines have a huge opportunity.



Jan 22, 2023; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines guard Kobe Bufkin (2) dunks on Minnesota Golden Gophers guard Taurus Samuels (0) in the first half at Crisler Center. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a rough start, Michigan basketball (11-8, 5-3 Big Ten) has somewhat gotten back on track. The losses have still been coming at a steady rate, though Michigan has been adding more Ws than Ls as of late.

Now, after Michigan basketball downed Minnesota for the second time this season, the Wolverines have a massive test on its way to Ann Arbor: No. 3 Purdue (19-1 overall, 8-1 Big Ten).

Michigan basketball regains 2nd place in Big Ten

A win over Purdue on Thursday would not move Michigan basketball into 1st place; however, the Wolverines still got back to 2nd place with a 60-56 win over Minnesota earlier today. The Wolverines are 5-3 since starting Big Ten play and undefeated in Big Ten home games. On Thursday, the Wolverines welcome the 3rd-ranked Boilermakers to Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, MI.

The Wolverines are currently tied with No. 23 Rutgers for 2nd place in the conference standings. On Michigan’s heels are Wisconsin (4-3 Big Ten) and Michigan State (5-4 Big Ten) who sit at 3rd and 4th place respectively.

What could a win over Purdue do for Michigan basketball

Michigan only has one Quad 1 win this year: a neutral floor win over Pitt in the early stages of the 2022-23 season. If Michigan basketball wants to make a run at the NCAA Tournament, the Wolverines will need to rake in some more Quad 1 victories.

Seeing as Purdue is one of the best teams in the nation right now (and won 19 of their first 20 games this season), a win on Thursday would be massive for Michigan basketball. A top-3 win wouldn’t be enough to get Michigan ranked again; in fact, that window is likely long-gone.

Still, Michigan basketball could add a huge victory — one the team could build off of as we close out the 2022-23 regular season just as we saw last year’s team do after they upset No. 3 Purdue in Ann Arbor.

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CJ has covered college athletics in paid roles for around five years, including numerous sports and beats. His most recent work revolves largely around Penn State and Michigan football and basketball. Right now, CJ is the publisher of Blue by Ninety, where he also serves as the site's credentialed football reporter. Previously, CJ has made stops with Fansided, The Michigan Daily, and more.