ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Former players are sending support from afar, and even Tom Izzo has offered his grudging respect.
Michigan is ranked No. 1 in basketball for the first time in two decades, and no matter how much the players downplay it, the spotlight will be shining on Ann Arbor for at least the next few days.
Michigan hosts Northwestern on Wednesday night before going on the road for a weekend showdown at No. 3 Indiana.
The Big Ten will offer few chances for a breather. The Wolverines are not even halfway through a conference schedule that still includes two games with Michigan State and a trip to Wisconsin.
Michigan's only loss of the season came at Ohio State. The Wolverines host the Buckeyes next Tuesday night.