Michigan notched a second win over a top-10 program in a week on Wednesday night by beating No. 10 Iowa 75-67 and the Wolverines have another opportunity looming Saturday against rival Michigan State.
The No. 21 Wolverines and third-ranked Spartans will go into Saturday's game undefeated in Big Ten Conference play. Michigan improved to 14-4 overall and 6-0 in the conference by holding the Hawkeyes 20 points below their gaudy scoring average of 87 points a game. Michigan State is 7-0 in the Big Ten.
Every other team in the conference has at least two conference losses so a loss won't be devastating to either team outside of the hurt of falling to a rival.
Nik Stauskas led the Michigan effort Wednesday with 26 points, but it might be forwards Jordan Morgan and Jon Horford who deserve the most credit for rising to the challenge of filling Mitch McGary's shoes after the preseason All-American underwent season-ending back surgery earlier this month.
Morgan and Horford have been a effective one-two punch and helped their team earn consecutive wins over top-10 teams for the first time since the Fab Five did so in 1992.
It was Morgan's turn Wednesday. He scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds and made plays down the stretch saving a ball from going out of bounds and giving Iowa an extra possession and challenging shots in the post late in the game.
Morgan and Horford are combining to give coach John Beilein nearly a double-double each game with 10 points and nine rebounds, but the effort they are giving on the defensive end has been a key part of the Wolverines success and why they are once again a legitimate for a Big Ten title.
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