BLOOMINGTON, IN - JANUARY 05: Tim Hardaway Jr. of the Michigan Wolverines dribbles the ball during the Big Ten Conference game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Assembly Hall on January 5, 2012 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Protecting your home court in the Big Ten is paramount. The Big Ten champion is usually one that has the best home record in the league while stealing enough games on the road for the title. it is no coincidence that Ohio State and Purdue, the top two finishers in last year's race, were unbeaten on their home floors.
The Michigan Wolverines are only one game behind rival Michigan State in the Big Ten title hunt so far, and tonight they have a critical home game against a Northwestern team looking for a signature road win. The Wildcats are attempting to end their famous drought without an NCAA Tournament appearance, and the Wolverines are a team coming off of a dominant win over Wisconsin:
Wisconsin is reeling, and don't get me wrong, they played terribly, but this was a phenomenal performance for Michigan. The Badgers weathered a 10-2 Michigan run to open the game to draw within six at halftime (interestingly, Wisconsin's run coincided with the first half absence of Jordan Morgan with foul trouble, they were able to take advantage of Evan Smotrycz and Blake McLimans down low).