Michigan unanimous choice to beat Kansas, plus a South regional preview

Submitted by GoBlueinEugene on March 26th, 2013 at 2:35 PM

The prognosticators over at are predicting a Michigan win over Kansas:…

Matt Norlander has a more extensive South region preview and predicts Michigan to the Final Four:

Why Michigan will be going to Atlanta ... The Wolverines now have the second-best offense in the nation, scoring 120.9 points per 100 possessions, that number adjusted for tempo. It's really good, second only to Indiana. The Burke factor is huge. I am a sucker for really, undeniably good point guards at this time of the year. Burke doesn't make mistakes as often as Aaron Craft and he's got a better set of tools on his hip than Shane Larkin or Peyton Siva. He'll be huge. In general, Michigan remains to have options at every position. Stauskas is actually a fairly good penetrator in addition to being a threat from 22 feet. Hardaway can spark big runs. McGary has come along as much as any player since November. And Glenn Robinson III has shown some verve recently, putting up 21 points and six rebounds against South Dakota State. Overall, the team has as much balance and weaponry as anyone in this tournament. Play a little D, and Atlanta will be the next stop.…



March 26th, 2013 at 2:39 PM ^

Stauskas is actually a fairly good penetrator in addition to being a threat from 22 feet.

Did CBSSports just say that Stauskas is "more than just a shooter" without saying "more than just a shooter"?

Michigan Eaglet

March 26th, 2013 at 2:40 PM ^

" Stauskas is actually a fairly good penetrator in addition to being a threat from 22 feet."

In other words, He's not just a shooter!

Edit: Beaten by seconds to the punch by Ferris.

PB-J Time

March 26th, 2013 at 2:41 PM ^

"Play a little D, and Atlanta will be the next stop"

How little? Thumb and index finger little? Or $5 footlong little? I know we can muster the former, but if we need both hands to describe how much D we will have to play I may get worried...

/sorry guys(&gals) my sarcasm meter is high today


March 26th, 2013 at 8:42 PM ^

Of course. So predictable. Everyone was picking Michigan to lose 2 games because they had been .500 at the end of a tough conference run, and then they crush a team they probably couldn't match up with any better and now everyone loves them again. Also, Kansas almost got beat by a 16 seed, so clearly they're going to continue playing down to that level. I don't think it matters ultimately, but I'd prefer to remain the underdog.


March 26th, 2013 at 2:46 PM ^

Seems like the consensus is that Florida Gulf Coast turns back into a pumpkin this week. 

Surprised that nobody over there likes Sparty against Duke this Friday.


March 26th, 2013 at 2:52 PM ^

Ugh.  I was hoping everyone would stay away from the Kool-Aid for at least one more week to help get the team more motivated as a "Shock The World" team rather than remembering they were once #1 in the country (and we all know how that worked out for almost everyone that was ranked #1 during the season).


March 26th, 2013 at 3:09 PM ^

I hope the team does not read their press clippings this week.  This team played with a real intensity at the Palace this past weekend, one that has not been there for a while.  They cannot get content.  When they do they come out flat and usually cannot recover in time. 

I also don't understand the national Kool-Aid being consumed.  VCU was a nice win but Kansas is a different animal.  I know we are playing well but I am not in love with this matchup.


March 26th, 2013 at 3:23 PM ^

FWIW, Seth Greenberg at ESPN says Michigan won't get past KU, so maybe we just have the team watch the WWL dissing their chances all week.  

CBS and SI media embargo for the week.  Nothing but Drew Sharp and ESPN.  That should be enough irritation to have them come out aggressively this weekend.


March 26th, 2013 at 6:14 PM ^

I thought they played with pretty great intensity against Indiana in the last home game. No one remembers it because of the horrible last :50 seconds (thank jehu for the last weekend, which washed those memories clear) but they played very hard and played good defense for much of that game.


March 26th, 2013 at 7:08 PM ^

I love it. At this point I'd much rather have this team beaming with confidence. Mid to end of B1G play it seemed like they lost who that 20-0 team was pre-B1G.

Motivation should not be an issue for any team in the tourney. Confidence/swag is much more important IMO.


March 26th, 2013 at 3:05 PM ^

why the prognos and pundits aren't freakingly frightened like me. I mean. . . Withey. And a bunch of freshman. We're not going to turn back into pumpkins, but possibly chicken snax. 


March 26th, 2013 at 3:26 PM ^

Because as much as they talk about it, they're totally ignorant of matchup issues.  Like VCU made us run and pressures our ball handling.  Which we're totally fine with, as we saw.  Pundits ignored that.  Because pundits are dumb.

Kansas controls the paint defensively, which is really, really bad for us.  They do play fast though, which is good, as long as we can get stops.  But with Withey we need to shoot well.  If Hardaway stays hot and Stauskas finds his stroke, I think we win, otherwise we'll struggle.  Assuming Kansas has a normal offensive night and not the last 18 minutes or the first 62 minutes of this tournament.


March 26th, 2013 at 6:21 PM ^

This. Exactly this. Everyone is praising McGary to high heaven, and he had a great game, but VCU was the absolute ideal matchup for him. Small so he could grab rebounds, aggressive defensively so they opened up the backcut and clear runs to the rim on the P&R, pressing so they opened up running lanes for him. Add in that their only post was in continual foul trouble and it couldn't have been any better.

Kansas is not going to provide those opportunities in nearly the same amount. Withey also seems to run well, though not as well as McGary, so it's doubtful he's going to get the same kind of fast break points and Withey's really good at helping and recovering, so the free runs to the rim are likely not going to happen. 


To me, Timmy's the key. If he hits those 22 foot jumpers and can attack the way he did this past weekend, we're very, very tough because it opens the lane even more for Burke. If he doesn't, Burke may just start feeling the need to try to carry us and that's usually when we get offensively stagnant.


March 26th, 2013 at 6:31 PM ^

We're definitely at a big disadvantage there.

Which means we have to do other things well.  Remember that we should have beaten Indiana in Ann Arbor in spite of being out rebounded 47-26.  I doubt that we get outboarded by that margin.

And Trey has a number of ways to score in the paint.  Pullup or tear drop.  And back-cuts to GR3 that don't give Withey enough time to stop the dunk.

Nate Silver of the NYT says 55/45 Kansas.  Seems about right.  And so we just gotta will the basketball roulette ball to land on one of the 45 good spaces.


March 26th, 2013 at 3:17 PM ^

Here are the odds of each of these picks being precisely correct on all their picks:

Gary Parrish - 3.602%

Jeff Goodman - 0.762%

Matt Norlander - 0.798%

Jeff Borzello  - 1.618%

Mind you, that's the combined probabilities of several separate events, so theirs are but 4 of 256 possible combinations. 


March 26th, 2013 at 3:29 PM ^

just like they got too excited about VCU crushing Akron. Jeff Withey (sp?) is going to be a huge test for us and (just like VCU last week) everyone is overlooking flaws because that team looked real sweet a few days ago. I'm hopeful, but not at all confident


March 26th, 2013 at 3:31 PM ^

Like being favored, and people picking us. It is usually s sign of being good. However, this team has performed better in scenarios where it is undervalued ( msu 2, tourney so far). I agree that this is circumstantial, but it's hard to not feel a little nervous about out stock going from so low to so high in one weekend.


March 26th, 2013 at 3:44 PM ^

....these guys are right! but i am not that quick to write Mich into the ATL, if we beat Kansas then I will put the blue goggles on and blindly cheer for the Final 4 bound Wolverines!!!


March 26th, 2013 at 3:52 PM ^

Didn't he tend to do well against weaker competition during the season but tend to disappear against the tougher opponents?  I don't think he came close to putting up 21 and 6 against IU, MSU, OSU or Wisconsin. 

Kansas is going to be tough.  What really worries me is UM on the defensive end.  GRIII, Hardaway and Stauskas are going to need to help the big men on the glass and hold their against who ever they are guarding.  Whoever comes in to spell McGary needs to play solid.


March 26th, 2013 at 5:48 PM ^

what Horford provides that Morgan doesn't also provide, but only better--even during this funk. Horford is a little bit taller, but Morgan's defense is still infinitely better. And while Morgan's offense consists of violently throwing the ball at the backboard, Horford's touches mainly end up in airballed layups.


March 26th, 2013 at 8:10 PM ^

of the top notch teams in the big ten was the thing that took grIII out of his game. I think when you have refs that actually call fouls it benefits guys who are athletic, but not big bodied. I am all for not calling ticky tack fouls and letting the kids play, but their is a fine line and pretty much every big ten game I watched took it to far. The only way you could even get a foul called in the paint was either a block or a charge. Everything else pretty much went uncalled.

I apologize for the rant.


March 26th, 2013 at 4:36 PM ^

New venue, Withey is blocking machine, they crushed NC on the boards (47-30), their best guard had the worst game of his life (0-9 from the field and 0-6 from 3) and they still beat NC by 12.

Additionally, analysts have been hilariously terrible at predicting outcomes this year, their seal of approval means nothing. I am praying we keep it close until the end and steal one with some clutch shooting, if not:

Kansas by 6 imo.

Webber's Pimp

March 26th, 2013 at 4:55 PM ^

Aren't we getting a bit carried away here? I love our squad but a unanimous pick to beat Kansas? Are you kidding me? This is a powerhouse #1 seeded team we're playing on Friday.  We'll have to play well and get a few bounces go our way if we're gonna pull this off. That Whitey kid is a monster. I like our chances but this is a game where Kansas is the clear cut favorite going in imho...They had an off day against UNC and still blew them out last Sunday...