For the second time in a little over a week Michigan and Michigan State are set to meet in Big Ten play as Zak Irvin looks to be a factor.

For the second time in a little over a week Michigan and Michigan State are set to meet in Big Ten play as Zak Irvin looks to be a factor.

When Michigan traveled to East Lansing just a week ago, the Wolverines were fresh off a surprising 30-point blow out win over Indiana.

After falling to the Spartans, Michigan tumbled into a second consecutive loss at home to an underwhelming Ohio State team Saturday night.

Now set to bring in Michigan State for a primetime rematch at Crisler Center Tuesday night, the Wolverines NCAA tournament hopes are in need of a nice home victory.

"The Ohio State game certainly hit us pretty good but they played well," Michigan coach John Beilein said. "We didn't play as well but we didn't play as poorly as I thought we did up at Michigan State the week before.

"Obviously their offensive rebounding really took a toll on us. As I really looked at it, when you choose to front the post like we did, because Thompson was so good with the ball, a lot of their rebounds just dropped right at the rim."

Very impressed with Michigan State's most recent win at Nebraska, a game in which freshman star Miles Bridges led the Spartans with 16-points, Beilein understands the challenge the Spartans pose.

The one thing Michigan must be prepared for Tuesday night is Michigan State's steadiness and willingness on the defensive end.

"It's always good," Beilein said. "That's the one constant you're always going to have. I think they were very, and again, it's not the first time I've this in my time, they were very physical with us.

"And you have to be able to play through some of that stuff. You can't count on officials to make those calls and we did that a few times. Or we sometimes shied away from it."

Missing from Michigan's loss at Michigan State a little over a week ago was an effective Zak Irvin. Dealing with the flu, Irvin was held scoreless. 

In Saturday's loss to the Buckeyes Irvin wasn't much better, tallying just five-points on 2-of-10 shooting from the field. According to Beilein, Irvin continues to work through this tough stretch.

"He's texted me every night, unsolicited, showing me his numbers on the gun after practice and they're astronomical," Beilein said. "They're tremendous. 

"He's got to get through this, get some confidence back, and one thing if you make 500 shots on the gun you can get your confidence back but you've also got to have somebody guarding you now." 


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