...says Denzel Valentine of Big Ten Tourney favorite MSU, which is 5-7 in its last 12 games. Cumong, man.
When last we met: These teams were #12 and #13. Then half a B1G schedule happened. Now you can pretty much add 10 to those rankings. Indiana beat Michigan by a bucket thanks to 25 points from Christian Whatford and some ridiculous Assembly Hall officiating.
Now the tables have turned, and Michigan enters the game as 3pt favorites. The B1G has shaken out as a battle for second, a lot like we thought it would. And with MSU and Illinois doing their best to set basketball back half a century http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/recap?gameId=320310356 Michigan is shaking out as the favorite for that second spot. (You can make an argument for Wiscy here too...but I've seen them in person, and to say I came away unimpressed would be an understatement). But to have a shot to even the score against Ohio, or even to tread water near the top of the B1G standings, Michigan is going to have to win at home.
Michigan should have the advantage in scoring and rebounding, but the hoosiers are projected to protect the ball a little better. http://accuscore.com/game-forecast-previews/college-basketball/indiana-michigan/2-1-2012/gameid,4142/ Jon Horford will not play on Wednesday. Beilein stated that he has been cleared to practice in half court drills, but that Horford has attempted to run full court and "That didn't go well". Whether this is more of an injury issue or a conditioning issue remains to be seen.
Predictions: I like Michigan in a squeaker. Indiana can be a terror when their shots are falling, but I like our defense to irritate them enough at home to put them off their game. I'm looking for a game in the 60's with double doubles from Morgan and Novak. Lets go blue!
|WHAT||Michigan v. Indiana|
|WHERE||Ann Arbor, MI|
4:00 PM EST
February 12th, 2011
|THE LINE||Michigan -6.5|
If Michigan wants to make the tournament, this game is a must win. Hell, if they want to make the NIT, it's probably a must-win. Take care of business today, and you can worry about bigger goals later. Enough said.
With a few games under each team's belt, it's finally reasonable to look at the stats. If you need an explanation of the stats, check out Ken Pomeroy.
|Michigan v. Indiana: National Ranks|
|Category||Michigan Rank||Indiana Rank||Advantage|
|Mich eFG% v. IU Def eFG%||59||117||M|
|Mich Def eFG% v. IU eFG%||179||40||II|
|Mich TO% v. IU Def TO%||25||134||MM|
|Mich Def TO% v. IU TO%||236||178||I|
|Mich OReb% v. IU DReb%||308||118||II|
|Mich DReb% v. IU OReb%||42||135||M|
|Mich FTR v. IU Opp FTR||344||329||I|
|Mich Opp FTR v. IU FTR||61||199||MM|
|Mich AdjO v. IU AdjD||45||91||M|
|Mich AdjD v. IU AdjO||76||56||I|
The Wolverines are having a much better season than the Hoosiers, but the stats are nearly even. Part of that is a tougher schedule for the Wolverines. Though Michigan went down in Bloomington in embarrassing fashion, Indiana has yet to win a game on the road this season.
The Wolverines are playing some of their best ball of the season right now, whereas IU lost to Iowa last week... at home. Two of their most important contributors, Maurice Creek and Christian Watford, are injured and likely to miss today's game.
Pomeroy likes Michigan, 68-63, but I'm a little more optimistic, especially with IU's injury situation. I think Michigan comes away with a 65-53 victory in Crisler.
Looks like Indiana had to one up ND's epic "We are Notre Dame"
Wisconsin has delivered a win. Indiana screwed the pooch against Boston College. Purdue is losing to Va Tech. Looks like we have to cheer for Penn State (I can't cheer for Sparty). One win from winning the challenge. Come on someone...
The score was 17-10 Wisconsin, with Indiana having missed a field goal on Chappell's last drive. The stats:
Indiana: 7 first downs, 95 yards rushing, 62 yards passing (8 of 14, one TD)
Wisconsin: 7 first downs, 93 yards rushing, 46 yards passing (4 of 7)
Even if you count the Wisconsin drive (2 plays, 66 yards) after Chappell got hurt, before his replacement fumbled the first snap, it's still not a total blowout, 24-10 with Indiana moving the ball effectively (that is, 24-17 at the half would have been possible).
In short, Wisconsin is good, but the fact they blew out Indiana and we did not (42-35) probably doesn't mean as much as might seem. If Chappell is in for the whole game, it's much closer, with Wisconsin winning by at most 20.
This is an interesting trend for the Big 10 teams the game after playing Indiana:
Oct 2 @ Indiana- W 42-35
Oct 9 vs. MSU- L 17-34 (Michigan was a 3 point favorite)
Oct 9 vs. Indiana- W 38-10
Oct 16 @ Wisconsin- L 18-31 (OSU was a 4 point favorite)
Oct 23 vs. Indiana- W 44-13
Oct 30 vs. Purdue- W 44-10
Oct 30 @ Indiana- W 20-17
Nov 6 @ Penn State- L 21-35
Nov 6 @ Indiana- W 18-13
Nov 13 @ Northwestern- L 17-21 (Iowa was a 10.5 point favorite)
Nov 13 vs Indiana- W 83-20
Nov 20 @ Michigan- TBD..
OVERALL: Big 10 teams are 1-4 in the game after they play Indiana, with 3 outright losses by favorites in Vegas. You could also say that Big Ten teams are 0-4 in this game against teams that aren't Purdue. This might not mean anything but let's hope it does and it continues.