University of Michigan Preview
Date: Thursday, February 27th
Time: 6:00pm CST
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
2017-18 Record: 33-8 (13-5 Big Ten Conference)
2018-19 Record: 24-4 (13-4 Big Ten Conference)
Coach: John Beilein (12th Season)
Just in case your college basketball watching stopped once Nebraska was beat out of the NIT last season, Michigan made the championship game of the NCAA Tournament. They first ended the regular season tied for fourth place in the conference with Nebraska. The Wolverines then ran the Big Ten Tournament where they beat Purdue to claim the crown.
From there they earned the number three seed in the west where they beat Montana, Houston, Texas A&M, Florida State, and Loyola-Chicago before their dreams were dashed by Villianova in the championship. Overall a huge year for the Wolverines.
This season has shown to be another banner year for Michigan. They swept through the non conference schedule and the beginning of the conference slate going 17-0 before finally getting their first loss to Wisconsin in Madison. Since then they have only lost 3 more games to Iowa, Penn State, and rival Michigan State. All of these were in the month of February and even good teams will lose a few in a tough conference like the Big Ten.
Like last year, they are big and athletic. They will score at will and can easily push a team to it’s limits. They do not have the deepest of benches like other teams Nebraska has played but the starters on the floor more than make up for it. They’re not the best offensive rebounding team but have more size than the Husker do so I would expect a close battle on that end of the court.
They are lead by by forward Ignas Brazdeikis. He is 6’7” and averages 14.4 points and 5.2 rebounds. Also, he’s only a freshman. Throw in the fact that he’s shooting 45% from the floor and 37% from beyond the arch and you have Michigan’s #1 threat. Roby and Borchardt are both going to have their hands full when Ignas gets lose with the ball on offense and will need to play tight defense to keep him in check.
At guard is Jordan Poole. He’s a tall 6’5” sophomore who is averaging 13.2 points and 3.2 rebounds a game. Michigan will push Nebraska all over on offense this game and Poole will be one of the main issues for the Huskers. 45% shooting from the floor means that Nebraska will have play some of it’s best defense as the game goes on. He had a rough game in their loss to Michigan State and I can imagine he will do whatever he can to rebound against the Huskers.
Also of note is center Jon Teska. The 7’1” junior is averaging 9.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. A really big man who Nebraska does not match up well against. I would expect him to have a big more than his 9 points a game on Thursday.