The second half may have featured a tail-off for Michigan, but the fall part of the season had them on a high, securing multiple big-name wins to create a successful start to Juwan Howard’s first go-around.
In what became their biggest win of the season, the Wolverines crushed Gonzaga on the road, 82-64, on Nov. 29. At the time, the former remained perfect, sending the Bulldogs to their first loss of the year. They, of course, only lost one other game the rest of the way. It further highlighted this early but important matchup for Michigan and could have been the difference in making the NCAA Tournament.
Isaiah Livers was the star of the night, finishing with the third of what became his final 20-point performance of the season. He hit five 3-pointers to put his team over the top against one of the best units in the nation.
A mid-January loss to Minnesota, who finished 12th in the Big Ten, was arguably the breaking point of Michigan’s season. They stumbled the rest of the way to a record barely over .500, including losing four of the next six games after this 75-67 defeat.