Our offense has been pretty consistently good all year, in that we've basically been a top 10-15 KenPom team in OE all season long.
The thing that has gotten us beat was our defense. Early this season, Underwood was running a "all-press/all-the-time" defense that worked OK, for the most part, during the non-conference.... we had a few decent wins, including drilling Wichita State on their home court.
But as the conference season started, the first several Big 12 teams basically chewed up our press. We were giving up tons of dunks and layups. So, after the 0-6 start, Underwood switched our defensive footprint to ease up on the press and the perimeter pressure to stop the bleeding in the paint. That's when we took off and won 10 of 11 before dropping the KU/ISUx2 games at the end.
So basically the difference was that we improved our defense enough to where it was still not really all that good, but wasn't god-awful... and the offense continued to get better and better and so that led the win streak.
As for the last 3 losses... well one was to KU. It turns out they are pretty good, you know? But I think the two losses to Iowa State come down to the fact that guarding the 3-point line is problem for us and Iowa State has about 4-5 guys that can kill you from there... and they did. That's why I think Michgian is a bad matchup for us.