Oops, I meant Michigan State...
No, actually the Big 10 tournament championship is as wide open as ever this year. But after watching Michigan basketball this year, I'm convinced they can win the whole thing as a #7 seed.
Sure, they'll run into Michigan State a second time this year in a possible Semifinal matchup, and yes they played...horrible.
Michigan State—being the good defensive team that they are—frustrated Manny Harris and the rest of the offense, limiting them to a measly 42 points. But Michigan was down eight points at half; they were in that game. Michigan State has also shown spurts of inconsistency; losses against Northwestern at home, Penn State, and Maryland earlier in the season by 18 (Michigan lost by only five).
So Why Michigan? Well they have the talent on offense in Manny Harris, DeShawn Sims, Zack Novak, and Stu Douglass can light it up from three at any time. They also have a good consistent defensive scheme that has improved over the course of the season. With wins over UCLA, Duke, a recent win at home over Purdue, losing at Connecticut by only eight, and other tough Big 10 conference games, Michigan has proven they can play and compete with anyone in the country.
Iowa presents Michigan with a tough first round game. In the first regular season meeting, Michigan won convincingly 64-49, but in the second game Michigan was ahead for most of the game, but eventually fell off and lost the lead and the game in overtime, 70-60.
Iowa has players that can present problems matching up on defense. Jake Kelly had 23 points in the second game against Michigan. Matt Gatens is another good player who added 16 points of his own.
But besides all that, if Michigan plays consistent defense, executes on offense, distributing the ball to the playmakers, getting DeShawn Sims his touches, Michigan will pull away with a close victory.
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