Although the heat is on in the building, the Wolverines’ welcome will be anything but warm as fans, and more specifically the Buckeyes’ student section, will look to gain any advantage possible with some verbal fun.
“I probably can’t share some of the things their fans say but they have some clever chants,” Michigan junior captain Spike Albrecht said. “But it’s a lot of fun going into a hostile environment and just hearing their fans get on you a little bit.
“It’s fun. It’s all a part of it.”
For fellow captain and Michigan junior Caris LeVert, the challenge at Ohio State has a great deal of meaning.
Growing up in Ohio and playing at nearby Pickerington (Ohio) Central high school, LeVert understands what the Buckeyes are all about, eager to have his own homecoming and win that building for the second straight season.
“It’s a big game for me obviously because I’m from there,” LeVert said. “I grew up being around that but it’s just like any other Big Ten game, it’s very important to us as a team and it’ll be a big chance to get a road win for us.”
Although losses have been the result away from Crisler Center on multiple occasions, positives can come out of those defeats, preparing the Wolverines for what they’ll see in Columbus.
“I think it’ll be similar to Arizona, except for the fact that this is a rivalry game,” LeVert said. “They don’t like us, we don’t really like them so its kind of hatred going on between the fan bases but we’ve got to really look past that and keep our emotions in tact.”
While LeVert didn’t hesitate to include the word hate in his description of both fan bases, Albrecht attempted to take a more political approach.
“We’re not going to pull out the hatred card,” Albrecht said. “But they’re a really good team and like I’ve been saying, going into a hostile environment on the road it would be a big win for us.
Michigan (10-6, 3-1) and Ohio State (13-4, 2-2) tip-off at 7 p.m./est from Value City Arena.