Head Coach: John Beilein
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Conference: B1G 10
Last time out: Beat Minnesota
Typical Rotation Depth: 8 players
Offense: On pace to break the B1G 3 pt record
Defense: Variety of Zones, man
Point Spread: Nebraska by 1.5
Players to watch: Zak Irvin and Derrick Walton
Once again Nebraska is catching Michigan without Caris LeVert and 6'6" F Irvin and 6'1" PG Walton have been picking up the slack, both increasing on their double digit scoring average over the last 5 games. Irvin has been shooting nearly 50% from 3 in conference play and Walton is the one Wolverine who makes it to the FT line.
While the Huskers currently have a 3 game winning streak against Michigan State, they've yet to beat Michigan since joining the B1G. The Wolverines have the look of a classic John Beilein team, scoring at a high efficiency while playing slow, low possession games.
Michigan is spamming the 3 ball this year. They have the 11th highest ratio of 3s to FGA in Div 1 and have been deadly, the 9th best 3pt shooting team. Walton along with Duncan Robinson and Aubrey Dawkins have hit over 45% of their 3s on the year. The Huskers are used to playing defense for most of the shot clock and they'll need to as the Wolverines patiently work the ball around to find an open shooter or to set up a pick and roll opportunity. The Huskers have struggled against teams like this, currently 0-3 against teams that shoot more than 40% of their shots from 3. The biggest challenge might be handling Michigan post players who will have a lot of 1 on 1 opportunities. There is a chance that a guy like Mark Donnal or Moritz Wagner goes for 20 if Nebraska isn't careful.
Michigan's defense has struggled in league play and will have to figure out how to cover both White and Shields without the length of LeVert to pair with Zak Irvin. We're going to see some zone out of Michigan tomorrow but the Huskers night and day shooting from last year makes this solvable for Nebraska. Against a team that doesn't foul a lot and doesn't block many shots, the Huskers just need to shoot comfortably once they're able to penetrate the lane. Michigan is an excellent defensive rebounding team so don't expect a ton of second chance points in this game.
This has all the looks of a clean high scoring game where both teams are trading buckets. Hopefully the momentum of the Huskers along with the home crowd and a #AveryStrong day keeps the winning streak going for the Huskers.
Prediction: Nebraska 76 - Michigan 70 with a 98% chance of Runzas