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Embracing Expectations: 4 Thoughts on Michigan Round 2

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Rutgers Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers fell to Michigan ending their home streak. The final was 60-52.

Michigan Is Rutgers’ Bugaboo: Michigan just seems to have the ability to stymie Rutgers. They came to a sold out RAC without one of their best players and silenced the crowd. The Wolverines tried to keep Rutgers out of the lane and turn the Scarlet Knights into a jump shooting team. While Rutgers did attack the basket, Jon Teske was there to stop them. Geo Baker was hot early, but the Michigan guards really were able to stop him late and the Rutgers offense couldn’t get going.

Rutgers blew a 9 point lead: Everything was going right for the Scarlet Knights early in the second half, extending to a nine point lead. But once Juwan Howard inserted little used Colin Castleton, the game changed. Using two towers in Castleton and Teske really hurt Rutgers. The Wolverines got a ton of clean blocks around the rim and while the Scarlet Knights got Zavier Simpson and Brandon Johns Jrs. in a lot of foul trouble, they didn’t get the benefit of enough whistles to get to the line.

Finding Consistency: No one on Rutgers could get consistent scoring and when Michigan was able to bottle up Montz Mathis, Caleb McConnell and Myles Johnson, you knew you were in for a rough night at the RAC. This is a tough game to write about because it feels a lot similar to the game against Michigan at the Garden. Rutgers just wasn’t able to consistently take advantage of offensive opportunities. Ugh.

Got to do it on the road: Well, Rutgers fans, you knew it would come down to this. The Scarlet Knights need to get to 20 wins to feel safe. They had a window to do it by winning out at home, but that didn’t happen. Rutgers is going to need to find a win and they will have three chances to get it done. Will they? I’m a little nervous, but the next chance is against Wisconsin on Sunday. Let’s see how it goes.