IOWA CITY, Iowa — Standing at the bottom of a zone defense, Spike Albrecht could only watch.
The pass to Aaron White was whip-quick and all he could do was look up as the alley-oop layup took place near the rim.
Though there were 13 minutes left in Saturday’s game, the Wolverines were like Albrecht, in way over their head, trailing by 17.
It only got worse from there, as No. 10 Michigan left Carver-Hawkeye Arena with a full-one whipping, losing, 85-67, to No. 17 Iowa.
The loss forces a re-evaluation of the Wolverines (17-6, 9-2 Big Ten) after the first game of their four-game challenge against Big Ten contenders.
They’ve now lost consecutive road games after winning their first four in conference play, and have looked offensively inept at Indiana and now in Iowa.
The quick turnaround to the Ohio State trip on Tuesday night suddenly becomes critical for keeping Big Ten title hopes alive.
But the way Michigan looked Saturday, they looked a long way from that, trailing by 27 at one point.
Unlike a week earlier when the loss at Indiana could be pinned on the poor defense of Indiana point guard Yogi Farrell and Michigan was within four in the final 2 minutes, this was a rout from the start.
Iowa opened with three three-pointer from Roy Devyn Marble and never recovered.
The Wolverines were horrible early on defense, digging a 14-point halftime hole as Iowa shot 53 percent before the break.
They fumbled the ball around early in the second half on offense, committing four turnovers in the first 4 minutes.
And their supposed leaders, Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III, had nothing to offer.
Robinson was coming off his season high against Nebraska with 23 points but finished just 1 of 7 from the field for two points Saturday.
Stauskas reached double figures for the first time since Jan. 30, squeaking out 10, but has only seven points and no three-pointers in the first 34 minutes. After that point, his scoring was pointless.
All the evidence necessary was that Michigan was led by Caris LeVert’s 22 and Zak Irvin’s 19 points.
No. 17 Iowa (18-7, 7-4) looked like the powerhouse they did before Michigan put them down in Ann Arbor three weeks ago.
But this was a different Michigan team.
Back on the road apparently meant back to the same poor defense for the Wolverines.
For the second straight weekend, they opened the game watching the opponent’s best player drill three-pointers right in their face.
A week after letting Farrell run all over them, Marble ripped up the Wolverines’ defense before halftime, drilling 6 of 9 three-pointers. He dropped three in just over the first 4 minutes and then closed the half with one just before the buzzer for emphasis.
That left him with 22 points at the break and his team with a 43-29 lead.