The Big Ten has either been tremendously undervalued this season, or it's just not very good. But don't tell the Michigan Wolverines that.
Michigan entered their Thursday night matchup with Wisconsin squarely on the bubble. In ESPN's latest version of Bracketology, they were listed as a 10 seed. The Wolverines could not get too comfortable there, however, with plenty of deserving teams at their heals.
On Thursday, they came out and made a statement win at home, thus taking them off the vaunted 'bubble' and undoubtedly in the tournament field--for now.
Michigan won despite a lackluster performance from their best player. Derrick Walton Jr. shot 1-8 in the win, but Zach Irvin was able to make up the difference with 18 points of his own.
The Wolverines ended the game in emphatic fashion, with two fast break dunks the students in attendance won't forget anytime soon.
DUNK CITY POPULATION ANN ARBOR pic.twitter.com/FcXTrdU9jc— Barstool Michigan (@BarstoolUofM) February 17, 2017
Now, Michigan will have to do something they've failed to accomplish more than once all season--win on the road. The Wolverines have struggled mightily away from Ann Arbor, especially in Big 10 play.
While they are coming off a big road win in Indiana just last week, they'll need to bring the same energy and toughness to their remaining schedule if they want to stay in the tournament field.
Michigan plays four of their last five games on the road. We'll find out a lot about the Wolverines as we near Selection Sunday.