CBB Preview: Northwestern at Michigan

Northwestern at Michigan

No. 25 Michigan looks to get back into the win column when it hosts Northwestern on Monday. The Wolverines have dropped two of their last three games, including a 92-88 setback to third-ranked Purdue on Thursday to fall out of the race for the Big Ten title, and hope to string together some victories down the stretch to solidify a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Michigan is 11-1 at home this season, with its lone loss coming to the Boilermakers (70-69) on Jan. 9, and aim to continue their dominance in Ann Arbor by knocking off the Wildcats for the seventh consecutive time at Crisler Center. Northwestern has won back-to-back games for the first time since December following a 77-69 victory against Minnesota on Tuesday. The Wildcats snapped a three-game road losing streak and swept the season series with the Gophers in the process as they hope to ride the momentum to their first victory in Ann Arbor since 2010. “I feel like in the last two weeks we’re starting to play good basketball,” Northwestern coach Chris Collins told reporters. “The resiliency of our group, the sense of urgency and the way we’ve approached everything I’m really pleased where our team is at right now.”

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ABOUT NORTHWESTERN (13-9, 4-5 Big Ten): Vic Law scored 18 points and pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds to register his second double-double of the season in the win against Minnesota. Bryant McIntosh added 18 points and three assists against the Gophers to become the fourth player in Big Ten history to notch at least 1,600 points and 650 assists in his career. Scottie Lindsey tallied 15 points while Dererk Pardon contributed 10 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots to help the Wildcats beat the Gophers for the fourth consecutive time in Minneapolis.

ABOUT MICHIGAN (17-6, 6-4): Senior guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman buried six 3-pointers en route to a career-high 26 points in the loss to Purdue. Zavier Simpson matched his career high with 16 points and dished out five assists while Moritz Wagner scored 15 points as the Wolverines fell to the Boilermakers for the second time this season despite shooting a sizzling 60 percent from the floor. “We’ve played some really good teams and (Purdue) twice, tough and that means we can play with a lot of people,” Michigan coach John Beilein told reporters. “But playing with them wasn’t why we’re here, trying to win was why we were here.”

TIP-INS

1. Four of the last five meetings between Michigan and Northwestern have been decided by four points or fewer.

2. Simpson has dished out at least five assists in seven of his last eight games.

3. Lindsey is 12-of-62 from 3-point range over his last 10 contests.

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