Record: 17-14, 11-9 in Big Ten
Last NCAA trip: 2021, Eliminated in Elite Eight
Leaders: Hunter Dickinson, C, So. (18.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg); Eli Brooks, G, Sr., (12.3 ppg, 51 3-pointers); DeVante Jones, G, Sr. (10.7 ppg, 4.6 apg)
The story: In an up-and down year for a traditional Big Ten power, most Front Range fans will recall coach Juwan Howard’s handshake line donnybrook against Wisconsin last month. The Wolverines were just 7-9 away from Ann Arbor this season but posted five “Quad 1” wins in a deep league, including a 14-point home win over San Diego State on Dec. 4 and a 13-point win over UNLV in Las Vegas back on Nov. 19. Michigan topped No. 3 Purdue at home, 82-58, and won by six at No. 23 Ohio State earlier this month. Gainbridge Fieldhouse, where Thursday’s game will be played, is the site of the Big Ten tournament and roughly a four-hour drive from the Michigan campus.
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