Preseason NIT 2012: Guaranteed Winners on Final Day of Play
No. 4 Michigan is going to win the Preseason NIT. The Wolverines are going to be too much for K-State.
Michigan is too good a defensive team, for one thing. The trio of Nik Stauskas, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Glenn Robinson III is smothering (And may I interject here to tell you how much this 38-year-old writer is bothered by both Tim Hardaway and Big Dog Robinson having sons old enough to play college hoops?).
Michigan is versatile enough to play a lot of different defenses and to shuttle between them quickly. That's difficult enough for a really good team to keep up with, and K-State is not a really good team.
They're not terrible, and I don't mean to imply that. It's not like Michigan will be facing IUPUI again. But K-State is a team that has yet to really gel, and when an offense cannot flow as fast or as easily as the defense it is facing, it does not tend to end well.
Another issue: K-State's shooting percentage has been below 40 percent in consecutive games. You cannot do that and expect to beat Michigan. The Wolverines' three-point shooting was abysmal on Wednesday against Pittsburgh, 3-for-17, and they turned the ball over eight times. But they still beat Pitt—on the strength of that defense. It can't be oversold; Michigan takes the title.
Pitt, who lost to Michigan, and Delaware, who lost to K-State, will meet in the consolation game. This one is trickier. But Pitt ran right with the Wolverines until they ran into that old-school 1-3-1 defense, whereas Delaware needed a monster game from Devon Saddler (32 points) to stay in shouting distance of the Wildcats. I don't think he can repeat that one. Running with Michigan is more impressive than running with K-State. Pitt wins the consolation game.
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