Michigan is in the Big Dance with a win, while a loss would likely put the Wolverines on the outside looking in.
The Wolverines missed a dunk and two run-of-the-mill layup opportunities in the second half of their 68-57 loss at Wisconsin.
Wisconsin became the latest opponent to perpetrate a run and do Michigan in, using an 8-0 run midway through the second half to turn a one-point deficit into seven-point lead and eventually a 68-57 win.
The Wolverines can take a big step toward locking up an NCAA Tournament bid with a win in Madison.
The Wolverines’ bench success Wednesday took pressure off of Zak Irvin and Derrick Walton Jr., who have sometimes been the Wolverines’ only reliable options with Caris LeVert out.
Abdur-Rahkman finished with 19 points, three rebounds and a pair of assists, leading Michigan from behind twice in a key win.
Michigan was able to hold out, despite multiple scoring droughts.
To secure a win on Wednesday, Michigan will have to hold in check the hero of last year’s game: senior guard Tre Demps.
The Wolverines’ defensive struggles have caught up with them.
Having lost three players to the NBA, Beilein and Michigan’s fan base recalibrated their vision for the future to center instead on LeVert and Albrecht. Once again, those expectations were shattered.