-- Michigan handed Ohio State one of its four losses in Big Ten play this year. To keep their season alive, the Wolverines will have to do it again.
-- Michigan split its season series with the Buckeyes, winning a home game in early January and losing Feb. 27 in Columbus. While the win looks impressive in Michigan's otherwise dismal season, Ohio State was without national Player of the Year candidate Evan Turner for that game.
-- Turner had 18 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and four blocks in the rematch, and Michigan has no one who can cover him. Still, guard Zack Novak said the Wolverines are in position to spring the upset. "We beat them for a full game and I think we beat them for a half the next game," Novak said. "We're confident going in."
MICHIGAN 59, IOWA 52: Manny Harris rebounded from his worst game of the season to score 22 points and grab nine rebounds as Michigan kept its feint NCAA Tournament hopes alive and knocked Iowa out of the Big Ten Tournament for the third straight year. Harris and DeShawn Sims (14 points) scored Michigan's first 17 points, and the Wolverines held Iowa to 23 first-half points.
--G Manny Harris, who scored a season-low four points in Sunday's loss to Michigan State, made 9-of-10 free throws on Thursday. It was the seventh time he shot at least 10 free throws in a game this year. Michigan is 6-1 in those games.
--G Laval Lucas-Perry scored five points in 16 minutes off the bench against Iowa and made his first 3-pointer since a Feb. 16 win over the Hawkeyes. He was 0-for-12 from deep in that span.
--G Stu Douglass played all 40 minutes Thursday and two other starters, Harris and Zack Novak, played at least 37 minutes. Michigan has one of the thinnest benches in the Big Ten and a 21 1/2-hour turnaround before its next game.
--PG Darius Morris "still is having trouble throwing the ball in the ocean sometimes," Michigan coach John Beilein said, but Morris has been attacking the basket with more success lately. Beilein said that change in mindset is due in part to one-on-one work Morris has put in with assistant coach Mike Jackson, a former college point guard.
POSTSEASON OUTLOOK: Michigan has to win the Big Ten Tournament, or the Wolverines' season is over. Coach John Beilein said earlier this week his team wasn't interested in playing in the CBI, and at 15-16 overall the Wolverines can't finish with the requisite .500 record (vs. Division 1 teams; they beat Division II Northern Michigan in the season opener) to make the NIT. If they win out in Indy, they'll automatically qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "You go in with this idea that it's four games that teams do win. You got to put it all together and try to take it one game at a time is the old cliche, but it's Iowa and then it's somebody else." -- Michigan coach John Beilein on his team's approach to the Big Ten tournament. The Wolverines need to win the tournament to make the postseason.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
SEASON RECAP: Michigan began the year in the top 15, but poor shooting, little depth and a lack of leadership spoiled any chance the Wolverines had of making the NCAA tournament. Coach John Beilein scheduled aggressively, but his team lost nearly every big non-conference game it played. In Big Ten action, Michigan blew double-digit leads at Wisconsin and home against Northwestern, and couldn't take advantage of a favorable schedule with one game each against the Badgers and Purdue.
PLAYER ROTATION: Usual Starters -- G Manny Harris, G Darius Morris, G Zach Novak, G Stu Douglas, F DeShawn Sims. Key Subs -- G Laval Lucas-Perry, G Matt Vogrich, C Zack Gibson.
Ohio State 66, Michigan 55
Michigan 83, Minnesota 55
Michigan State 64, Michigan 48
Michigan 59, Iowa 52 (Big Ten tournament first round)
Vs. Ohio State, March 12 (Big Ten tournament quarterfinal)
IN FOCUS: The Wolverines, who've won four straight first-round games, have not advanced past the quarterfinals since 2004.
--Forward DeShawn Sims has rejected an invitation to Portsmouth Invitational pre-draft camp next month, according to DraftExpress.com via Twitter. Sims said earlier this year he would attend the tournament.
--Sims and Manny Harris have scored 20 or more points in the same game eight times this year. The Wolverines are 8-0 when that happens, and 10-2 when Sims tops the 20-point mark.
--Zack Gibson is closing his Michigan career on a high note. Gibson, one of two seniors on Michigan's roster, had 10 points and four rebounds in 16 minutes off the bench in Michigan's regular-season finale against Michigan State. He's been Michigan's best reserve most of the last month after scoring four or fewer points every game for a 14-game span in December and January.