Michigan has look of Final Four contender after Big Ten semifinal upset of Michigan State

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Michigan advanced to the Big Ten title game on Saturday with a thorough win over No. 2 Michigan State, leading most of the way and pulling away late, 75-64.

The Wolverines have been slept on most of the year, but this is a team you should pause for contemplation on before you advance someone past them in your bracket.

Michigan (27-7, 15-5/Big Ten) has now won eight straight and 10 of 11, and is a win away from a second consecutive Big Ten tournament championship.

The Wolverines backed up their Big Ten run last season with an improbable push to the Sweet 16 as a seven seed, where they came up a jump shot shy of advancing further, losing to Oregon, 69-68.

This team has built on the momentum of last year’s squad, and despite losing do-everything guard Derrick Walton Jr. and 6-6 guard Zak Irvin, looks like it has another run in it.

6-11 junior Moritz Wagner (14.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg) has blossomed into a first-round NBA Draft pick, and he’s one of the most explosive and fun-to-watch players in the country.

Junior Charles Matthews and seniors Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Duncan Robinson bring a veteran presence and will benefit from last year’s surprise NCAA run.

Michigan also boasts one of the nation’s most underrated coaches in John Beilein, who, people forget—took them to the national title game in 2013, and has engineered some deep NCAA runs, both at Michigan and West Virginia. He was the coach behind the legendary Kevin Pittsnogle run back in ’05.

Is this group good enough to make a run at the Final Four?

Why not?

No one in college basketball is much better than anybody else, and the Wolverines just outclassed the Spartans (29-4), who have been among the nation’s select elite all season long.

No one has any idea what’s going to happen come March, but think carefully before you eliminate the Wolverines in your bracket.

Few teams in the sport can be trusted, but Michigan may just be one of them.

Also see:

Thanks to its loaded backcourt, Rhode Island is a legit NCAA Tournament threat

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