3 Predictions for Michigan Basketball against Ball State

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Michigan basketball

Michigan head coach Juwan Howard (Detroit Free Press)

The Michigan basketball team will be back in action Wednesday night and here are three predictions leading up to Ball State for the Wolverines.

Just three days after surviving an overtime scare against Oakland, Michigan basketball will be back on its home floor Wednesday night against Ball State.

The Cardinals are a solid team and are right on par with Bowling Green as a team that should be a contender in the MAC this season after they won the West Division last year under the direction of head coach James Whitford.

Ball State was 18-13 overall and 11-7 in their division and it comes into Ann Arbor as a 14.5 point underdog according to Fan Duel, which is also similar to Bowling Green.

The Cardinals actually rank higher according to the Kenpom rankings and if Michigan basketball stumbles out of the gate like it did Sunday, this could be another tight finish.

K.J. Walton is one name to watch for the Cardinals and in their only game of the year this season, he scored 28 points in a loss to Northern Kentucky. Walton is a senior and so is Ishmael El-Amin, who is probably the Cardinals best shooter. He was their second-leading scorer last season.

Walton isn’t really a perimeter shooter but Ball State shoots a lot of 3-pointers. It took 23 in its season opener and last year was ranked well outside the top 200 in getting to the foul line.

Ball State wants to slow the game down and last year, it averaged just 69.7 points per game (227th) but also allowed just 62.9 which ranked 18th.

So pace in this game will be key, as will 3-point shooting and rebounding. Ball State does have multiple starting players standing 6-foot-6, 6-foot-8 and 6-foot-10, so the Michigan size advantage won’t be what it was vs Oakland but it’s still an edge.

As far as Michigan is concerned, we have seen two very different teams in two games, so which team will we see Wednesday night? Let’s get to the predictions.

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