In some instances, being at home changes everything. This will be the case when the No. 3 ranked Michigan Wolverines rematch the No. 10 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes on Tuesday night.
Back on Jan. 13, the Buckeyes held on for a 56-53 win over the Wolverines at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio. This time, the game takes place in Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich. and it is the Wolverines' turn to enjoy some home cooking.
The mid-January loss cost the Wolverines a place atop the polls, and another loss would create a ton of doubt as to where the Wolverines rank in their own conference.
There will be no need for that talk, though.
It is hard to imagine them struggling from the field on Tuesday night the way they did in the first matchup. They shot 38 percent from the floor and made only six-of-20 from long range.
For the season, Michigan shoots 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from beyond the arc. You would have to think the shooting percentages would be closer to their average playing at home.
The Buckeyes play a smothering brand of defense, and that certainly deserves some of the credit for the Wolverines struggles in the first game. However, you can't discount the energy supplied by the home crowd.
The Buckeyes pressure won't be aided by a raucous student body this time.
It's also unlikely that it takes John Beilein an entire half to make the appropriate defensive adjustments against the Buckeyes. Ohio State is largely a one-trick pony offensively. Containing them begins and ends with limiting Deshaun Thomas.
Smart teams will make Thomas' supporting cast beat them. That's the approach Michigan took in the second half, and it keyed their comeback, but it was too little too late.
They won't get off to such a slow start on Tuesday.
They are undefeated at home this season, while the Buckeyes are just 3-3 in road games. Gaining a measure of revenge against a bitter rival will be sweet.
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