3 bold predictions for Michigan Basketball in Big Ten Tournament

Syndication: Detroit Free Press
Syndication: Detroit Free Press /
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Looking ahead to the 2023 Big Ten Tournament, here are three bold predictions for Michigan basketball as the Wolverines try to make the NCAA tournament. 

It’s do-or-die for Michigan basketball. There is no sugarcoating it — if the Wolverines lose on Thursday to Rutgers in the Big Ten Tournament, they are headed to the NIT.

Rutgers is in the same boat and it creates an interesting matchup. Throughout the Big Ten, there are teams hoping to play their way into the field such as Wisconsin, Penn State, both Michigan and Rutgers, and even Nebraska.

Essentially, 12 of the 14 teams have an outside shot of making the NCAA tournament and it’s going to set the stage for a fascinating five-day tournament that has already gotten underway.

As far as Michigan basketball, what’s needed is clear. Some will make the case for the Wolverines if they beat Rutgers but I don’t see an 18-15 team getting into the tournament. I could be wrong. I think they need two wins and that includes top-seeded Purdue. That makes 19-15 the worst-case scenario and I think Michigan receives a bid in that scenario.

Will it happen? Here are three bold predictions for the Big Ten tournament including the Rutgers game on Thursday at 12:00 PM EST (Big Ten Network).

Hunter Dickinson dominates

Michigan isn’t going to get that far in the Big Ten Tournament unless Hunter Dickinson brings his A game. His offense might not be as important in terms of scoring against Rutgers — Dickinson only scored 13 in the first game — but his passing, defense, and rebounding are important.

Dickinson needs to set the tone for this team and it goes beyond Rutgers. I don’t know if he’s going to enter the NBA draft after this season but I know he doesn’t want to miss the NCAA tournament and I think he’ll put forth the kind of effort that will make it possible for Michigan basketball to qualify for the field of 68.

More than anything, I think we’ll see an engaged Dickinson and when that happens, the Wolverines tend to be at their best.