Michigan Wolverines vs Marquette Golden Eagles
Michigan faces its stiffest test of the season when it travels to New York City to tangle with Marquette in the semifinals of the 2K Classic at Madison Square Garden on Thursday (Enter Contest). The Wolverines opened the season with a 76-58 victory against Howard before knocking off IUPUI 77-65 in the regional portion of the tournament. They hope to improve to 5-1 in games played in the Big Apple under John Beilein.
Marquette followed up its impressive 95-71 road win against Vanderbilt by brushing aside Howard 81-49 to improve to 93-7 in home openers. The Golden Eagles are 6-13 all-time against the Wolverines, but won the most recent matchup 79-65 in 2009. The winner will advance to the 2K Classic final against either Pittsburgh or SMU on Friday.
ABOUT MICHIGAN (2-0)
The emergence of junior forward D.J. Wilson continues to be one of the major storylines of the young season for the Wolverines as he registered seven points, 14 rebounds and five blocks in the win against IUPUI. Zak Irvin scored 15 points to lead four players in double figures, along with Derrick Walton Jr. (13), Mo Wagner (13) and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman (12). Irvin needs two more 3-pointers to move into seventh place on Michigan’s all-time list. Three players inked letters of intent during the early signing period, including shooting guard Jordan Poole and forward Isaiah Livers. The Wolverines are 50-1 under coach John Beilein when scoring 80 or more points.
ABOUT MARQUETTE (2-0)
Katin Reinhardt and Jajuan Johnson each scored 14 points while Haanif Cheatham filled up the stat sheet with 12 points, seven rebounds and a career-high six assists in the win against Howard. Johnson looks poised for a breakout senior season as he’s averaging 17.5 points and 3.5 steals in his first two games after putting up 10.2 points per contest in 2015-16. Sam Hauser, who was named the Big East Freshman of the Week after scoring 14 points against Vanderbilt, went 3-of-4 from 3-point range en route to 10 points against the Bison. Marquette is 32-9 in regular-season tournaments since 2004-05.