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Michigan basketball is back on the right track

Despite losing to Central Michigan last week, the Wolverines got back on track with a huge win over Maryland



Michigan head coach Juwan Howard talks to center Hunter Dickinson (1) during the first half against Buffalo at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021.

After years of up-and-down Michigan basketball under Juwan Howard, it appears as if the Wolverines have found their stride.

A rocky start for U-M hoops

Just as we saw a year ago, Michigan basketball has not gotten off to a great start thus far in 2022-23. The Wolverines began the year with a 4-0 record and a massive 91-60 win over Pitt. The night after Michigan’s dominant showing against the Panthers, the Wolverines showed flashes of who they were a year ago in their blowout loss to Arizona State.

Since the ASU loss, Michigan basketball has also dropped games to Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, and most recently, Central Michigan.

Last weekend, Michigan basketball hit a new low in its 63-61 loss to CMU, an in-state MAC program. The Chippewas came into Crisler Center in Ann Arbor and handed Michigan its fifth loss of the year, which appeared to serve as a wake up call.

Michigan basketball wakes up vs. Maryland

Over the weekend, the Maryland Terrapins (10-4, 1-2 Big Ten) came into Crisler Center to face the struggling Wolverines. For some reason, the Central Michigan loss appears to have gotten Michigan focused up.

It’s one thing to lose to top-ranked teams like Virginia, especially in a close battle. It’s another to get embarrassed by a MAC school in your own building, and it appears that Michigan basketball took it personally.

Despite Maryland being a hot team right now and Michigan’s recent struggles, the Wolverines looked unstoppable. Perhaps it is because the football team’s season ended and, apparently, Michigan cannot have a good football and basketball team at the same time.

Regardless of the reasoning, the Wolverines won their 8th game of the season, 81-46 against a solid Maryland team. The win came on January 1st — the perfect way for Michigan basketball to kick off 2023.

Juwan Howard is now 5-1 against Maryland and has won five-straight against the Terps — his only loss was a road loss in March of 2020.

Michigan basketball must maintain this momentum

Going forward, the Wolverines need to keep this momentum going. So far, despite being 6-5 in non-conference play, Michigan is 2-0 in Big Ten play and sits atop the conference standings.

As the calendar changes to January, Michigan must run the gauntlet that is the Big Ten basketball schedule. The Wolverines’ next five games are against Penn State (11-3), Michigan State (9-4), Iowa (8-6), Northwestern (10-3), and Maryland (10-4). The schedule does not get any easier from there, so the Wolverines must remain on their toes.

A lot can change throughout the course of a college basketball season, and as we saw last year, making the tournament is all that matters. If the Wolverines can sustain this momentum, Michigan will be just fine this year.