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(4) Michigan vs (13) Ohio Preview
Posted By Yannis Koutroupis On March 11, 2012 @ 7:26 pm In All,NCAA | No Comments
The Wolverines have not won multiple NCAA Tournament games since 1994. Expect that to change this year. John Beilein has put together his best team as the Wolverines head coach. The strength of this team is in the backcourt, where they feature two stellar underclassmen in Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. Burke, a freshman point guard, has stepped in and really made the Wolverines a better team than they were last year with now Los Angeles Lakers point guard Darius Morris. Hardaway, meanwhile, has the swagger of his father and loves big moments. The Wolverines use the three-point shot heavily, making eight a game. That’s due largely in part to their lack of a true low-post presence. They’re weak on the interior, evident by their -0.6 rebounding margin. Despite that, they managed to go 9-6 against teams in the RPI Top 50. In a tournament where guard play is so critical, the Wolverines have two of the best. As long as they can contain any dominant big men that they run into, they should be a Sweet 16 team at worst.
(13) Ohio Bobcats
The Bobcats were a third place team in the regular season of play in the Mid-American Conference. In the conference tournament, though, they knocked off the two teams who were ranked ahead of them and took the championship to earn their 13th tournament appearance in school history. Junior guard D.J. Cooper is on the smaller size at 5’11, but plays much bigger. He averages 14 points, three rebounds, nearly six assists and two steals. Walter Offutt, Reggie Keely, Ivo Baltic and Nick Kellogg are all capable offensively themselves as well. The Bobcats score 70 points a night while giving up just 62 on 40 percent shooting from the field and 28 percent from deep, which was ranked 11th in the country during the regular season. The Bobcats barely outrebounded their opponents on the year, but actually have some decent size upfront with multiple guys over 6’6. They won’t look to hurt teams too badly from beyond the arc, but do look to force a lot of turnovers. The nine steals they created a game was topped by only four other teams. They were 1-1 against the RPI Top 50, knocking off Marshall and playing Louisville within five points early in the year.
HOOPSWORLD’s pick: Michigan. Look for the Wolverines backcourt to have a big game and lead them to victory.
Who do you think is going win? Chime in by leaving a comment below!
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