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Can Ohio State beat unbeaten Michigan?
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On January 13, 2013 @ 11:00 am In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Scott M Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports
With top-ranked Duke’s loss to North Carolina State on Saturday, Michigan remains the nation’s lone undefeated team.
But the No. 2 Wolverines face a difficult test on Sunday that could leave the country with zero unbeatens. Michigan travels to No. 14 Ohio State for a Big Ten grudge match between the two rival schools.
The Buckeyes have been far from perfect this season–getting blown out by Illinois in Big Ten play and narrowly losing to Duke and Kansas–but welcoming the nation’s last unblemished team for a rivalry game could be the perfect recipe for Thad Matta’s group to pick up the signature win that’s avoided Ohio State against a premiere team.
A win against Ohio State would give Michigan a 17-0 record, tying for the best start in school history with the 1985-86 team. And a win would also likely ascend the Wolverines to No. 1 in the USA TODAY Sports Coaches poll, a feat that hasn’t happened since the “Fab Five” era.
The matchup (1:30 p.m. ET, CBS): This is one of many Big Ten games that will answer some questions. Michigan started conference play with three easy wins, but playing Ohio State on the road won’t be easy. If the Buckeyes limit the Wolverines’ shooters and control the tempo, we could see Michigan’s first loss.
About the Wolverines (16-0): Aside from a close battle with N.C. State in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge and a five-point victory against Pittsburgh, Michigan hasn’t been seriously tested this season. The Wolverines score more than 80 points per game and own the fourth-best shooting percentage in the country (51.4%). That’s in large part to guards Trey Burke (18.2 points, 7.3 assists per game), Tim Hardaway Jr. (16.3 points, 5.4 rebounds per game) and freshman Nik Stauskas (13.5 points per game). Freshman Glenn Robinson III (12.6 points, 6.1 rebounds per game) has skills reminiscent of his father, a former Purdue and NBA star.
About the Buckeyes (12-3): Ohio State looked sluggish in a disastrous loss to Illinois, committing 16 turnovers and shooting 33%. The Buckeyes don’t have any glaring losses on their résumé, but they … [For more on Can No. 14 Ohio State take down unbeaten No. 2 Michigan?, click here.]
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