Michigan Basketball: A Look At The Big Ten Conferences Chances — Indiana and Wisconsin — Fortune Cookies — Part II
Today’s pre-tournament look turns to Wisconsin and Indiana. At the start of the BIG season, one team, Indiana, was widely hailed as the top team in the country. The other team, Wisconsin, was struggling, but the prevailing thought was the Badgers, as always, would end up a force entering the NCAA Tournament. Indiana ended up a number one seed and Wisconsin battled hard to get toward the top of the league.
Indiana will start its tournament run with the winner of a first four play in game, probably North Carolina A and T. The spread will be 20+. There is little reason for analysis, as Indiana will have every advantage known to the basketball world, including rest time.The second round game would be the winner of N.C. State and Temple. Temple will play most of the world tough and N. C. State has some high caliber atheltes that may at least challenge Indiana. Yes, indeed, Michigan beat N. C. State, but that was way back when. The odds of Indiana winning this match-up would be around 75-80 percent.
Syracuse may survive long enough to give Indiana a real battle in the Sweet 16. Preparing for Syracuse is not easy. The long-armed 2-3 zone and the slower pace are Indiana’s ideal match-up. Syracuse has enough talent to provide a wire-to-wire game.
Miami or Marquette would most likely be next. Indaina looks good against both potential opponents. Marquette is physical and Indiana has had trouble with teams that grab some real estate and bang around Zeller. Miami has talent, but lacks consistency, especially away from home.
Wisconsin has many followers that like the Badger’s tournament path. The first game is against the hot and cold Ole Miss Rebels. Mississippi is a team capable of points and Wisconsin is a team capable of cutting down an opponent’s point. So, in cases like this pace and flow will matter. Wisconsin usually gets its way with pace. Ole Miss will need to play perhaps its best game to beat Wisconsin, who always comes out of the gate in fine style. This game is rated around a 70 percent chance for a Badger win.Kansas State, an early Michigan opponent, is still a tough team, and like Wisconsin is not the most athletic team in the tournament. Kansas State would not have much preparation time. Kansas State will probably be a 3-5 point underdog.
Gonzaga, may not survive to play Wisconsin. Pittsburgh, another early Michigan opponent, has the tools to take out the dogs early and give Wisconsin a tough game. Buried deep into the tournament is a possible rematch with Ohio State. And this may be where the Badger run ends.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff
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