Watching the Michigan men's basketball team over the last few weeks has given us all plenty to cheer about. Four wins in the last five games is a run that has excited the crowds and has made many "experts" take note.
During this run, certain moments stand out. Zack Novak's emotional pitch in East Lansing, Darius Morris' layup and deep three in the comeback against Penn State, Jordan Morgan's 11-of-13 shooting and 27-point performance against Northwestern are just a few of the memories I have of the recent success.
But as a team, the last five minutes of last night's game at Crisler Arena against the Wildcats showed me the tenor of this young team.
With U-M leading 67-52 with five minutes left, Northwestern went on a 14-0 run. A three-pointer by JeShon Cobb, then a quick steal and an easy layup by Cobb just 12 seconds apart cut Michigan's lead to one with just 2:20 left.
This young U-M team didn't wilt. It showed poise, determination and true grit.
The Wolverines scored the game's final eight points for the 75-66 win, keeping the team's momentum going.
Yes, momentum can change on a dime. Just 14 days earlier, the struggles of Big Ten play and a long season were taking their toll on these young players. The Wolverines had lost six straight games. This is where a veteran team learns to cope with the ups and downs.
But what about a young team?
This young U-M team proved it's a tough-minded bunch. Last night, they pulled together when they could have easily folded. They are pulling together with much more consistency. They are becoming an exciting, fun team to watch.
The pendulum of momentum turned quickly, and it turned in favor Michigan. Now, the final days of the season will be harbinger of what the future might hold for this group of young men.