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Previewing Michigan basketball at Iowa

This Thursday, the Wolverines are set to face Iowa in a critical bounce-back game.



Michigan basketball transfer portal Jose Perez
Dec 29, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Juwan Howard on the sideline in the first half against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Crisler Center. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

This Thursday, Michigan basketball (9-6, 3-1 Big Ten) will travel to Iowa City, IA, to face off against the Iowa Hawkeyes (10-6, 2-3 Big Ten).

Wolverines’ have an up-and-down season thus far

After starting the season 6-1 overall, the Wolverines’ non-conference record swiftly dropped to 6-5 overall. Still, as Michigan looked to open its Big Ten schedule, U-M walked out of Minnesota with a 90-75 win. In the Wolverines’ first game of 2023, Michigan basketball beat a 10-3 Maryland team, 81-46. The game after, the Wolverines beat the 11-3 Penn State Nittany Lions, 79-69.

Michigan’s win over Penn State improved U-M to 9-5 overall and 3-0 in Big Ten play. Still, the Wolverines could not overcome Michigan State in East Lansing — playing one of the worst games we have seen all season — and fell to 9-6 overall. Now, Michigan must get its season back on track on the road at Iowa.

Previewing the Iowa Hawkeyes

The Iowa Hawkeyes started the 2022-23 basketball season with a 5-0 record, which included some solid wins such as a 74-71 victory over Clemson. Since Iowa’s hot start, the Hawkeyes are 5-6 overall and 2-3 in conference play. Iowa is 2-3 in its past five games, yet is riding a two-game winning streak into its matchup with Michigan basketball.

Eight of the Hawkeyes’ 10 wins are at home including arguably their most impressive win: a 91-89 victory over No. 15 Indiana. In order to beat the Hawkeyes, Michigan basketball will need to limit Kris Murray, the Hawkeyes’ star forward. Murray — a 6-8, 220 lbs junior — leads Iowa basketball in points-per-game (20.9) and rebounds-per-game (9.6).

Tony Perkins leads the Hawkeyes in assists-per-game (3.1), Connor McCaffrey leads the team in steals-per-game (1.3), and Filip Rebraca leads the team in blocks-per-game (1.5). If Michigan basketball can limit these four Hawkeyes, the Wolverines should be able to come away with a victory.

What to expect

When it comes to Michigan basketball, we have no idea what to expect. If you’d like to pick the favorite, then put your money on Iowa, who has an 81.5 percent chance if victory according to ESPN. So far this year Michigan basketball has played two true road games: at Minnesota (90-75 win) and at Michigan State (59-53 loss). When it comes to U-M hoops under Juwan Howard, we have no clue what Michigan team to expect on a nightly basis.

What we do know is that the Wolverines need to start winning some games immediately. Michigan basketball has a Q4 loss (63-61 loss to Central Michigan) which the committee will not like. Additionally, Michigan has six losses in its first 15 games, and as of right now, is not a tournament team. For the first time since being hired in 2019, Juwan Howard may be out of the March Madness picture.

There is a lot of season left and Michigan is still in contention for the Big Ten Championship; however, U-M needs to start racking up the wins and fast.