After starting 6-1, Michigan has lost two straight to unlikely opponents: after their historically improbable loss to NJIT, the Wolverines fell to Eastern Michigan, 45-42.
While the Wolverines' loss to NJIT featured a pretty reasonable Michigan performance offset by absolutely blistering Highlanders shooting, this was a horrendous game by the Wolverines. They shot 14-for-42 from the field, 4-for-20 from deep, only managed two offensive rebounds in spite of all their misses, and turned the ball over 13 times. They looked completely lost against EMU's zone, and were bodied by smaller Eastern Michigan players on the boards.
EMU was also ineffective, but managed to do just enough. Jodan Price led all scorers for either team with 11.
It's bewildering. Michigan started off the season 6-1 with quality wins over Oregon and Syracuse and a decent close loss to a very good Villanova team. Then a loss to NJIT, a team that still isn't at .500 even after beating Michigan and winning their next game, and a loss to EMU. The Eagles are alright -- they're 7-1 and ranked No. 133 on Kenpom, over 100 slots ahead of NJIT -- but they lost their only game against a reasonable opponent in Dayton.
The Wolverines had hopes of winning America's toughest conference. At this point I think they'd be happy to just win the rest of their guarantee games. Next up for Michigan is Arizona -- at Arizona -- and at this point it seems like that would take a miracle.
The Eagles were 2-27 all time against Michigan. Their last win over the Wolverines was in 1997, when Earl Boykins was still in Ypsilanti. At 8-1, EMU looks like they could contend for the MAC title and their first tourney appearance since 1998.
In good news, Extremely Sad Fistpumping Michigan Fan has friends: