Michigan Wolverines Preview
Record: 19-11 (9-8 Big Ten)
Last Meeting: Michigan 91 Nebraska 85 January 14th
Record Since Last Win: 7-5
I am not going to lie. I fully expected to come on here and write an article about a team that the Huskers were playing for the first time this year.
Yep, up until this point I had totally forgotten that Nebraska had played and lost to Michigan back in January. It was a 6 point loss where the Huskers really did not play to poorly. They were just out shot by the Wolverines. It wasn’t a make or break game for the season at the time.
At first I felt bad when this minor misstep happened. Then I realized that this is just how the season has gone. Some really good games and wins for the Big Red followed by a lot of forgettable ones.
Anyway, on to Michigan, again.
A lot has happened since Nebraska last played Michigan in January. On one hand you have Michigan who has won enough games to become a possible #9 team for the NCAA Tournament. They’ve won some good games such as beating ranked Wisconsin and Purdue.
Yes, they’ve lost a few close ones to Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Northwestern but all of those games should not hurt their chances of making it in too much. All of those losses are to teams who have a fairly safe place in the tournament. Overall, they’ve done fairly well to end the season. A win against the Huskers would pad their resume for the dance.
Nebraska on the other hand is sitting with one game left that could decide if they play this Wednesday in the Big Ten Tournament. Unless they win the whole thing, the season could be over by next weekend or earlier.
Michigan is still a team that relies heavily on their offense and still struggles on defense. If Nebraska wants to take advantage of this they will have to start shooting better than they have been. 30% from the floor will not cut it in this game.
The Wolverines are still being lead by Derrick Walton Jr. who is currently averaging 14.4 ppg and is shooting 43% from the field. He earned Big Ten player of the week honors after their defeat of Indiana back in February. Again, Nebraska must play him tight throughout the game. He can not be left unchecked or he will hurt the Huskers at the hoop.
Senoir Zack Irvin is also playing well late in the season. The senior guard had a rough night in their win against Purdue but is currently averaging 12.5 ppg and 4.3 rpg. He put a hurt of 21 points on Nebraska back in January so I would expect him to try to copy his performance this time around.
One thing I will note of Michigan is their road record this season. They are 4 and 8 on the road this season which could bode very well for Nebraska. If the Huskers can get the Wolverines off their game early it could be a big mental advantage for the home team.
Hopefully the Huskers can pull it together for one more home win before the seasons over.