Last week, Michigan entered a crucial stretch where losses against the likes of Michigan State and Indiana would seriously hurt its chances for a postseason bid. The Wolverines answered the call with two impressive performances to boost the resume.
U-M enters this week having to do it all over again and that starts with No. 11 Wisconsin.
"Wisconsin has given us fits over the years and it's a great opportunity for us," U-M head coach John Beilein said during his Wednesday media availability. "I said last week about this time when we were getting ready to play Michigan State and Indiana, it's a great opportunity for us to embrace this challenge, grow from it and build a resume that could put us in postseason play. We've got that part done and now we've got to do it again, and again and again until the season is over. We had a good practice yesterday and hopefully have a good one today and we'll be ready.
"We're healthy and I think we're going to be as ready as we're going to be but Wisconsin is a bit of an anomaly because they've been so good for so long for doing the exact same thing over and over again. Against us, against other teams and they're a tough one to get."
A victory over Wisconsin in the friendly confines of Crisler Arena will do wonders for the confidence of a team that is looking to hit its stride down the stretch. A victory over a ranked opponent and three straight victories over difficult opponents could be enough to seal a postseason birth.
Beating the Badgers will not be easy and, according to Beilein, they certainly won't be beating themselves in the process.
"They're not beating themselves," Beilein said. "They're just not going to beat themselves. You can't beat yourself. I saw when they lost to Nebraska, the kid missed two foul shots that possibly could've been a big upset for Nebraska. They have just been able to be so good down the stretch, most of it is because of the continuity they've had in their program. Their juniors and seniors have a lot of experience by the time they get there, like no other team in the Big Ten, it's amazing. Their coaching, the whole deal. That's their secret sauce right now... They learn how to win and they do a great job with it."