Source: Ronald Martinez / Getty Image North America

Preview: Michigan at Indiana

Sixth-ranked Michigan looks to regain its scoring touch when it visits Indiana on Friday in a Big Ten game. The Wolverines are coming off their worst shooting performance since Nov. 23, 2016 as they finished 33.9 percent from the field, but managed to pull out a 59-57 victory against Minnesota on Tuesday after being held to a season-low points total in a 64-54 setback to Wisconsin on Saturday, and hope to get back on track by sweeping the season series with Indiana.

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Michigan, which beat Indiana 74-63 on Jan. 6, is still well placed for a run at the Big Ten regular season title following a program-record 17-0 start as the Wolverines sit one game behind No. 5 Michigan State, and hope to keep pace with the Spartans by pouring more misery on the Hoosiers. Indiana is coming apart at the seams following a 73-66 loss against Northwestern on Tuesday. The Hoosiers have dropped five consecutive games and are in danger of missing out on the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive year, but a potential quadrant one win over a Top 10 team could provide the spark that ignites Indiana’s postseason push with the second half of conference play approaching. “I’m looking forward to playing Michigan in a good environment,” Indiana coach Archie Miller told reporters. “Some guys got to step up and knock a couple down … as we’re not shooting the ball well right now.”

TV: 6:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1

ABOUT MICHIGAN (18-1, 7-1 Big Ten): Ignas Brazdeikis went 9-of-11 from the free throw line en route to a team-high 18 points and matched his career high with 11 rebounds in the win against Minnesota to post his second double-double after being held scoreless for the first time against Wisconsin. Jon Teske continues to be one of the most improved players in the conference as he added 15 points and five rebounds while Charles Matthews scored seven points, including the game-winning fadeaway as time expired. “I hoped I had gotten it off on time and thankfully I did,” Matthews told reporters. “I was happy we won because it was a survival game after we’d lost one.”

ABOUT INDIANA (12-7, 3-5): Juwan Morgan scored 18 points and pulled down 11 rebounds against Northwestern to register his seventh double-double of the season and the 16th of his career. Rob Phinisee added a career-high 13 points while fellow freshman Romeo Langford added 12 points and six rebounds against the Wildcats. Race Thompson has been cleared to play and could return Friday after sitting out the previous 17 games with a concussion while Devonte Green, who is averaging eight points and 3.2 assists this season, has been suspended indefinitely for “not meeting the standards expected of members of the program.”

TIP-INS

1. Michigan has won the last five meetings by an average margin of 14 points.

2. The Hoosiers are 10-of-55 from 3-point range over their last three games.

3. The Wolverines have held eight of their last nine opponents to fewer than 65 points.

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Photo: Zavier Simpson
Source: Ronald Martinez / Getty Image North America

The Wolverines try to build on a growing legacy with a trip to Wisconsin on Saturday.

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No. 2 Michigan’s 17-0 record ranks as its best ever start. It can set a new program record for longest winning streak in a season if they defeat the Badgers.

The Wolverines (6-0 Big Ten) got big games from two starters who normally don’t light up the scoreboard in an 80-60 win over Northwestern on Sunday.

Point guard Zavier Simpson poured in a career-best 24 points and added four assists and three steals without a turnover. Center Jon Teske matched his career high with 17 points and also contributed 11 rebounds, three steals and two blocks.

Simpson averages 8.6 points, fourth-best on the team, with Teske just behind him at 8.4 ppg.

“As we go down the road, we’re going to need that,” coach John Beilein said of their offensive contributions. I don’t want to compare it to any other team because we’ve had some great teams. I hate comparing great to great but I do say this team has the capacity, if we get that out of those two, I wouldn’t want to have to guard that.”

Michigan has three players averaging over 13 points a game, including freshman Ignas Brazdeikis (15.6), Charles Matthews (14.1) and Jordan Poole (13.4).

Beilein downplayed the historical significance of his team’s start.

“Probably everybody would like me to make some great statement about being 17-0. It’s just another game,” he said. “It’s another game and we’ve got another one coming up Saturday at Wisconsin.”

Michigan reached the national championship game last season, so it knows most programs are judged by its tournament success.

“You don’t win championships with 17 games, 17 wins,” Matthews told ESPN. “We’re just trying to be winning at the end of March, beginning of April.”

The Badgers (11-6, 3-3 Big Ten) will try to avoid losing their third straight. They have dropped four-point decisions to Purdue and Maryland in their last four games.

Wisconsin trailed by 18 at halftime to the Terrapins on Monday and its second-half rally came up just short.

“Every loss stings,” sophomore guard Brad Davison told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “The start of the game is what stings. It is kind of a theme the past couple of games. Getting down early and then fighting and crawling and scrapping to get back – making it hard on ourselves.

“In the first half, our offense was very stagnant,” he added. “We had to take a lot of tough shots late in the shot clock that we didn’t have to do in the second half. We had a lot better ball movement.”

The Badgers made 11 3-pointers in second half.

“I thought the execution was as good as it has been in a while,” coach Greg Gard said. “I thought we really moved the ball. We shared it. We got it to the right people. Obviously, it helps when you make shots. But shots usually go in because of good execution. It’s not by accident. I thought we had a lot of guys that did some very good things.”

The Badgers are led by forward Ethan Happ (19.4 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 4.6 apg).

Michigan won at Wisconsin 83-72 last season.

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Preview: North Carolina at Michigan

Fifth-ranked Michigan looks to stay unbeaten when it hosts No. 13 North Carolina in one of the marquee matchups of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Wednesday. The Wolverines have shot up the national rankings on the strength of their defense, holding five of their six opponents to 55 or fewer points, including then-No. 8 Villanova in a 73-46 road win on Nov. 14, and hope to cement their place in the Top 5 by shutting down a prolific Tar Heels’ offense which averages 96.6 points per game.

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Michigan has won 15 consecutive non-conference home games and hopes to extend their streak while avenging an 86-71 road loss to North Carolina in the conference challenge last season. North Carolina bounced back from its first loss of the campaign with a 94-78 victory over UCLA in the consolation game of the Las Vegas Invitational. The Tar Heels, who opened the tournament with a 92-89 loss to No. 17 Texas before matching their season high with 11 3-pointers en route to a comfortable win over the Bruins, hope to notch their first signature win of the season by knocking off the Wolverines for the third consecutive time. “Michigan may be playing better basketball than anybody,” North Carolina coach Roy Williams told reporters. “Michigan is the number one defensive team in America.”

TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN

ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA (6-1): Coby White was named to the Las Vegas Invitational All-Tournament team after averaging 26 points, including a team-high 19 in the win against UCLA. Luke Maye added 16 points and eight assists while Kenny Williams scored a season-high 15 points, as five players finished in double figures for the Tar Heels. White was also named the ACC Freshman of the Week after averaging 22.6 points and four assists against Saint Francis, Texas and UCLA while point guard Seventh Woods is set to return to the lineup after missing the previous two games with a concussion.

ABOUT MICHIGAN (6-0): Canadian forward Ignas Brazdeikis continued the impressive start to his college career, scoring a team-high 20 points to go along with seven rebounds in an 83-55 win over Chattanooga on Friday. “I think he’s very coachable and he wants to be a great player,” Michigan coach John Beilein told reporters. “He is going to have a doozy of a matchup with Luke Maye that’s for sure as Maye just killed us last time.” Jordan Poole added 14 points and six rebounds while Isaiah Livers tallied 12 points in a reserve role as the Wolverines held the Mocs to 36.1 percent shooting from the floor.

TIP-INS

1. Michigan leads the nation in scoring defense (48.3).

2. North Carolina is ranked third in offensive efficiency.

3. The Tar Heels are 10-5 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge under Williams.

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Preview: Michigan at Villanova

Villanova and Michigan are ready for their national championship rematch, but most of the familiar faces from that April showdown have moved on to the professional ranks. Still, there will be excitement in the air when the eighth-ranked Wildcats host the 18th-ranked Wolverines on Wednesday as part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games.

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In last season’s NCAA Tournamen title game, the Wildcats topped the Wolverines 79-62 for their second championship in three years, but seven of the 11 players who logged over 20 minutes in that game will not be playing Wednesday. “We weren’t thinking about Wednesday coming into this game. We were thinking about Quinnipiac,” senior guard Phil Booth said after Saturday’s 33-point win. “That was our main focus. Now it’s time to get ready for Michigan.” As for the Wolverines’ returning players, that feeling of coming up empty on the biggest stage is one that will stay with them forever. “I’m still not over it,” Jordan Poole said earlier this month. “Being able to have that opportunity right there in our hands and have it separated is a feeling that you won’t forget.”

TV: 6:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1

ABOUT MICHIGAN (2-0): The Wolverines have won their first two games by 19 points and have allowed a total of 81 points in the process. Only two teams in the nation are allowing fewer points on average than Michigan, which actually trailed Holy Cross 24-18 at halftime on Saturday before outscoring the Crusaders 38-13 in the second half. Charles Matthews led the way with 20 points, while Ignas Brazdeikis notched 19 in his second career game – and the duo is averaging a combined 30.5 points so far on the young season.

ABOUT VILLANOVA (2-0): The Wildcats are getting a combined 38.5 points out of senior stars Booth and Eric Paschall thus far, while they have made 24 3-pointers as a team. Paschall, who attempted 2.5 free throws per game last season, has reached the foul line 17 times through two games, while Booth has nine assists against one turnover through two outings. Joe Cremo and Collin Gillespie each have a team-high five 3-pointers for the Wildcats, who have attempted 69 shots from behind the arc in the first two contests.

TIP-INS

1. Villanova F Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree has registered three blocks in each game and has made 5-of-7 shots while pulling down 12 rebounds in 36 minutes.

2. Matthews only had six points in last season’s title game, missing both of his 3-point attempts and all four of his free throws.

3. Michigan G Zavier Simpson went scoreless in 28 minutes versus Holy Cross and is 1-of-7 from the field this season

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March Madness East Region Fantasy

Michigan Wolverines VS Notre Dame Fighting Irish

A few hours after what may questionably be one the biggest upset ever in NCAA first round play, the sixth-seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish will be battling against the eleventh-seeded Michigan Wolverines at the Barclays Center. FanPicks is proud to bring you this March Madness East Region fantasy preview. Come enjoy daily NCAA Fantasy Basketball at Fanpicks ahead of this upcoming March Madness with over 5 MILLION dollars in prizes in our contests.

 

March Madness East Region Fantasy preview Michigan vs Notre Dame Preview

 

Notre Dame entered the ACC tournament as one of the most efficient teams offensively in the nation. After stunning Duke by coming back from a 16-point deficit, they entered the semis in total confidence against North Carolina. Unfortunately for them, a total breakdown during the game going FG-less for 11 minutes was all it took for them to get blown out.

They will try to use efficiently their tough foward Zach August who’s been a beast all season especially the last 12 games, averaging 15.7 pts per contest with 11.9 boards with 8 double-doubles. Their scoring leader Demetrius Jackson hasn’t been playing at his full potential lately and failing to meet his scoring avg. in his last 7 games. With Jackson’s sudden slide in contributions, V.J. Beachem has stepped up and most notably beyond the arc.

 

The Wolverines enter this game after earning the rights to face Notre Dame by beating Tulsa this Wednesday in one the First Four games. It will be their 5th game in 9 days. They’re playing very well lately and after upsetting top seed Indiana, they lost to Purdue in the Big Ten semis.

Michigan is known to be deadly beyond the arc, leading the Big Ten with 9.3 3-points made per game and 2nd among NCAA Tournament teams. They used that weapon against the Hoosiers with 0.2 seconds left on the clock to pull in the upset.

Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman is a key player for the Wolverines lately scoring at least 14 pts in 4 straight games and 6 of his last 8.

These two schools are iconic rivals in the Football department making it very interesting and a perfect matchup.

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Fanpicks.com College Football Bowl Game Preview

BUFFALO WILD WINGS CITRUS BOWL
Michigan vs. Florida

Fanpicks.com is proud to bring you the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl game preview featuring Michigan against Florida. Talk about excitement, these two teams will certainly play their hearts out in a very close game which will be won by Michigan 21-20 over Florida. Play the best fantasy college football contests at Fanpicks.com.

Florida coach Jim McElwain and Michigan counterpart Jim Harbaugh resurrected dormant programs in their first year on the sidelines and look to cap off encouraging campaigns with a victory when the Gators and Wolverines meet in the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla., on Jan. 1. McElwain led Florida to the SEC Eastern Division title before losing 29-15 to College Football Playoff participant Alabama in the SEC championship game, while Harbaugh had Michigan in contention for the Big Ten East Division crown heading into the final week of the regular season. Defense has been the catalyst for the dramatic turnaround for both teams as the Gators rank eighth nationally in scoring defense (16.4 points per game) while the Wolverines are fourth in total defense (281.3 yards).

Florida’s offense has sputtered without suspended quarterback Will Grier as the Gators were held to 17 points in their last two games, and couldn’t manage an offensive score in the 27-2 setback to Florida State on Nov. 28. Michigan’s Jake Rudock suffered a shoulder injury in the 42-13 loss to Ohio State, and it was initially feared that he would miss the bowl game, but the senior quarterback will make his final collegiate start on New Year’s Day. Rudock struggled with the command of a new offense after transferring from Iowa before ending the season on a tear by throwing for 1,296 yards and 11 touchdowns in his last four games.

The Wolverines and Gators have meet twice previously in the postseason with Michigan emerging 38-30 victors in the 2003 Outback Bowl before downing Florida 41-35 in Lloyd Carr’s final game as coach in the 2008 Capital One Bowl. The Gators last met a Big Ten team in 2012 when they beat Ohio State in the Gator Bowl and McElwain, who is one of six finalists for the Dodd Trophy – awarded to the top coach in the country – is keen to lead Florida to its third straight win over a Big Ten opponent. “We’re here to win a ballgame,” McElwain told reporters. “We aren’t here just to go on rides.”

MICHIGAN Season Overview (9-3, 6-2 Big Ten): Jake Butt and Jourdan Lewis announced they will return for the senior seasons after the junior tight end caught 48 passes for 620 yards and three touchdowns, while the junior cornerback was ranked third nationally with 19 pass breakups. Safety Jabrill Peppers (two rushing touchdowns, eight receptions), who won the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award after making an impact as a three-way player, could miss the bowl game after suffering a suspected hand injury. “He’s working through something,” Harbaugh told reporters. “We’ll see.”

FLORIDA Season Overview (10-3, 7-1 SEC): Starting quarterback Treon Harris has struggled to move the ball through the air and has failed to throw for 200 yards in each of his last three games. Vernon Hargreaves III, who is the Gators’ first unanimous All-America pick since 2009, will likely play his last game as the junior cornerback is considered a surefire first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Defensive end Alex McCalister has been sidelined with a foot injury since Nov. 15 and will likely miss the game while wide receiver Brandon Powell is questionable because of a foot problem.

Posted in CFB