Head Coach: John Beilein
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Conference: B1G 10
Last time out: Lost to Wisconsin
Typical Rotation Depth: 8 players
Offense: Love the 3
Fun Fact: Michigan tried to flip a Nebraska recruit by implying he wouldn't be good enough to go there without football. It didn't work.
Fun Fact: The student section for Michigan has taken to wearing "Jorts" when the Huskers come to town.
Fun Fact: Walter Pitchford is from Grand Rapids, Michigan
Players to watch: Zak Irvin and Derrick Walton
Irvin, Walton and Caris LeVert were the top 3 scoring options for Michigan until LeVert was lost of the season just two games ago. Both players are comfortable shooting from anywhere on the court. Irvin is 6'6" and leads the team in 3pt attempts. Combo guard Derrick Walton has the most FT attempts on a team that doesn't shoot a lot of them.
Michigan on paper represents a winnable road game for a team that hasn't won a lot of road games in the Tim Miles era. In 2+ seasons at Nebraska, the Huskers are up to 6 road wins including just one this season over Florida St. Michigan is a young team once again with three players from their Elite 8 team leaving early for the NBA. They had a shaky start dropping games to NJIT and Eastern Michigan but have rebounded with a friendly schedule to start conference play 5-3. Unknown whether or not their home Wisconsin OT loss will be any sort of factor tonight.
The Wolverines play above average defense and shoot a lot of 3s. Slow and cautious like most Beilein teams, Michigan won't turn the ball over and will operate in the half court without much urgency. Their small lineup doesn't grab many offensive boards but will cause turnover troubles for the Huskers on defense. Michigan doesn't draw much contact on either side of the ball so Nebraska will need to score without much help from the FT line.
Michigan has only two post players of size who don't typically play at the same time. If Walt Pitchford is in the lineup with Leslee or Moses he'll finally get to guard a perimeter player. New and Old Testament probably don't play a ton in this game but Molinari has the option of guarding the 3 pt line in this game while confidently covering Michigan big men 1-on-1. This game should be a chess match of substitutions.
At no time should the Huskers feel comfortable with a lead as Michigan has outscored all of their conference opponents at home in the last 10 minutes of regulation. In what will be a slow low scoring game against a Husker team that hasn't won on the road and can't close out game, Michigan should be favored. We have PBA Magic at home. Let's hope we can be #AveryStrong on the road.
Prediction: Michigan 57 - Nebraska 54