Michigan Basketball: NCAA Tournament — Elite Eight — Michigan vs. Florida — Preview

Posted at 7:00am — 3/31/2013

Michigan Basketball: NCAA Tournament — Elite Eight — Michigan vs. Florida — Preview

Gators Want Some Michigan Chomp

There are many similarities for Michigan between the Kansas game and the upcoming Florida team. Both teams (Kansas and Florida) have big athletes and can rebound, both teams were struggling just a little on offense, and both teams have strong defensive play. Both teams won major conference titles.

Mar 29, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan reacts on the sideline against the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles in the second half during the semifinals of the South regional of the 2013 NCAA Tournament at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Florida did a great job of defending perimeter ball screens against FGCU, the switching and hedges worked very well. Michigan must have better luck with Trey Burke, or the other three perimeter players will need to shoot much better. The teams that have survived, sans Michigan, are at least better than average teams on defense and rebounding. Some of the teams have not fared well in bogged down half-court offense. Florida can run but Billy Donovan has done well letting the Gators plays standard down-home basketball.

Like Kansas, Florida will send quite a bit of experience to the floor against Michigan. Rosario, Boynton, and Murphy are all skilled seniors. Young and Wilbekin are juniors. The gators rotation is 8-9 deep.

Rosario and Boynton will present problems to the Michigan defense, both inside and outside. Both have the athletic ability and skills to hurt an opponent. Rosario is the better shooter on a typical night and is a very dynamic player that plays at a very high level. Both shoot well over 80% from the foul line, a trend that could prove to be dangerous in end game situations.

Murphy and Young have good size and moderate rebounding totals. But the fact that Michigan still allows easy post entry could make the rebounding of short misses problematic.

As a team, Florida shoots a very nice 38 percent from the three-point line. Time will tell if the Michigan perimeter players and the vast background of Cowboy Stadium will have an effect. One thing for certain, Trey Burke demonstrated a shot from the stratosphere can be made.

Michigan’s chances in this game are very similar to the Kansas game. The Wolverines need to run when they can. Florida, like Kansas, has the athletes to run if that is the way the game swings. Michigan may be well served to save some fouls the first half and then play much tougher in the second half. Keep in mind Young is at the same foul shooting level as Mitch McGary.

Mar 29, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Michigan Wolverines guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (10) celebrates after defeating the Kansas Jayhawks 87-75 in overtime in the semifinals of the South regional of the 2013 NCAA Tournament at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Is there anything Michigan can do about the amount of easy points given up? People, like leopards, do not change spots, especially in two days. But anyone can put a body on someone else, communicate through the screens, and just play with some toughness. Michigan will likely give up points, and so Michigan will need to score points. One more point than Florida would be sufficient.

Except for the Duke, Louisville, and Michigan State logjam, Michigan faces maybe the two toughest back-to-back match-ups of the entire tournament.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff

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Topics: #GoBlue, Basketball, Big Ten Conference, Coach John Beilein, Go Blue, Michigan Wolverines

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