Two Wins Away From History
What are the keys to Michigan closing out a Big Ten title run against Michigan State and Iowa? With or without Leigha Brown, the backcourt is the focus.
Michigan is two wins away from their first Big Ten title in women’s basketball.
A regular season championship wouldn’t just make history for the program; it’d mark a shift of power in the conference. Either Maryland or Ohio State has at least shared the Big Ten title every year since 2014, when the Terrapins joined the conference. Among the other 12 schools, only Northwestern (tied with MD in 2020) earned a piece of a title in that period.
Michigan is 4-0 against the two conference giants and lead the Big Ten by a game in the loss column. They control their own destiny — beat Michigan State and Iowa and they put up a banner.
Assuming Iowa doesn’t lose their next game to an abject Rutgers squad, Michigan has a path to sharing the title with a loss, albeit a narrow one:
Lose to Michigan State, beat Iowa, otherwise the Hawkeyes will pass the Wolverines
Ohio State loses at least one of their final two games (PSU, MSU)
As the championship odds Wyatt Crosher posted imply, Michigan has a difficult final two games of the regular season. Michigan State is an inconsistent bubble team that’s capable of beating, well, Michigan, which they did two weeks ago in East Lansing. Iowa is coming off back-to-back wins over Indiana and they have two starters back who weren’t available in the first matchup with the Wolverines.
Michigan’s #2 scorer and best playmaker, Leigha Brown, remains “day-to-day” with a lower-leg injury suffered over three weeks ago. If she returns this week, it may not be at 100%. Let’s look ahead at how the Wolverines can navigate these two games and come away with a banner.