In the aftermath of the Iowa debacle Michigan (17-11, 7-8) must be ready to take on #16 Purdue (21-6, 10-4). The Boilermakers are basically on a roll having won 4 straight and 10 of their last 12. I guess the only good news is that their last two loses were both on the road (at Illinois, at Ohio State). Purdue is also getting healthy. Robbie Hummel has played in their last 3 games but only played 16 minutes in the blow out win over Indiana on Saturday.
This is a fork in the road game for one Corperryale Manny Harris. The last time we saw Purdue Manny was ejected for an errant elbow to the face of the always irritating Chris Kramer. In Michigan’s last game Manny must have crossed a line with John Beilein. Harris did not play in the overtime and Michigan crumbled. I spoke of Norman Dale before and this was definitely a “my team’s on the floor
moment” for Coach Beilein. We will probably never know the full story behind the benching and we probably shouldn’t know that is team business.
But Manny ‘O Manny do we ever need you on Thursday night. The loss at Iowa was a setback to Michigan’s NCAA hopes. However, a win over the #16 Boilermakers would help erase the bad feeling we all have about that Iowa game and maybe, just maybe I’ll stop having those visions of Jake Kelly dancing in my head.
We all know what is at stake here. The NCAA famine has been withering the Michigan fan base since 1998. There are those who have stood by this team through the darkest of days and we yearn for the day that March Madness will once again involve the Michigan Wolverines. This team is so tantalizingly close right now that it is killing me.