Michigan Basketball: Predicting Remainder of NCAA Tournament for Wolverines

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Michigan Basketball: Predicting Remainder of NCAA Tournament for Wolverines
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The Michigan Wolverines picked up a big win against the VCU Rams, and that momentum will propel them to a deep run in this year’s NCAA tournament.

The game wasn’t close for the Wolverines, who were able to pull away and win by a score of 78-53.  Mitch McGary stepped up big, recording 21 points and 14 rebounds on 10-of-11 shooting.

With momentum on their side, here’s a prediction for the remainder of the tournament for Michigan.

 

Michigan vs. Kansas

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The Kansas Jayhawks should be able to get by North Carolina in the round of 32.  Roy Williams’ squad isn’t as good as they’ve been in recent years, and the Jayhawks have some serious star power.

This would be an exciting matchup, especially since the teams match up very well together.  Thanks to his tremendous season, Ben McLemore has become a consensus lottery pick for the NBA draft if he decides to go pro.  He’s averaged 16.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists on 50.5 percent shooting.  He can score from anywhere, including downtown, where he shoots 41.3 percent.  Combine that with Jeff Withey, who averages 13.7 points and 3.9 blocks per game, and you have an intimidating opponent.

Luckily for the Wolverines, they have Trey Burke and McGary to match up against these guys.  McGary showed that he can be a big impact player against the Rams, and Burke has been an absolute stud this year, making the list of Wooden Award finalists.

It will be a tough game, but the momentum should be on the Wolverine’s side.

Predicted Score: Michigan 68, Kansas 65

 

Michigan vs. Florida

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The Florida Gators’ path to the Elite Eight got a lot easier with Georgetown falling to Florida Gulf Coast.  The Minnesota Golden Gophers are the second best team in that half of the South region, but Florida will advance.

Michigan will need to be very careful against this Florida team that features three very impressive seniors.  Erik Murphy, Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario combine for 37.3 points, 11.0 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game.  Murphy, in particular, has been fantastic, shooting 53.6 percent and 46.1 percent from behind the arc.

The Wolverines will have to focus on scoring, as Florida is one of the best defensive teams in college basketball.  They allow only 53.5 points per game, the second fewest in the country.  The backcourt of Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Nik Stauskas will need to be sensational on offense to pull out a win.

With how good the starting five have looked in the tournament so far, they have the potential to score on the most dangerous defenses.  Expect them not to score as much but still get the victory and head to Atlanta for the Final Four.

Predicted Score: Michigan 61, Florida 56

 

Michigan vs. Indiana

The Indiana Hoosiers are the best team in the Midwest.  They’ve been the most tested thanks to their Big Ten conference schedule, and they will be prepared for difficult games.

The offense for the Hoosiers is one of the best in that nation, averaging 80.1 points per game.  They have four players that average at least 10 points per game, with Will Sheehey close behind with 9.5.

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These two teams have already met twice this season, with the Hoosiers winning both previous meetings.  Unfortunately, the Hoosiers have too many weapons on offense along with some solid defense. 

The Wolverines will have a solid run, but it will likely end in Atlanta.  A Final Four appearance is a very good run, especially for a No. 4 seed.

Predicted Score: Indiana 76, Michigan 70

 

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