3 keys and a prediction for Michigan Basketball vs Vanderbilt in the NIT

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Michigan Wolverines
Vanderbilt Commodores
Saturday, March 18
Vanderbilt -2

Michigan basketball is headed on the road for the second round of the NIT. Here are three keys and a prediction for the Wolverines vs Vanderbilt. 

The Michigan basketball team is still playing and even though the Wolverines aren’t in the NCAA tournament, they have the chance to get closer to Las Vegas for the NIT semifinals.

Awaiting the Wolverines is Vanderbilt, a team that has won 21 games and is coached by former NBA All-Star Jerry Stackhouse.

Juwan Howard and Stackhouse used to be teammates in the NBA. It will be interesting to see how this matchup plays out but Vanderbilt has a strange arena and the atmosphere will be interesting.

Motivation is key in the NIT. We talked about that last week and that’s going to be key for the Wolverines once again. Jett Howard didn’t play against Toledo and I feel like he won’t against Vandy, but everyone else was engaged. Joey Baker had maybe his best game as a Michigan basketball player.

So I have high hopes for this matchup and here are the keys for Michigan basketball, as well as a prediction.

Defend the shooters

Vanderbilt is a team that sort of lives and dies by the 3-pointer. The Commodores are ranked in the top 64 when it comes to 3-point makes (64th) and 3-point attempts (46th). Vanderbilt doesn’t shoot a great percentage though. That doesn’t mean they won’t make shots at home though.

Tyrin Lawrence is the top scorer. You could call him Vanderbilt’s Kobe Bufkin, but Myles Strute is a name Michigan basketball fans need to know. He averages 2.2 3-point field goals per game and if those two guys go off, it could be a long day for the Wolverines.

Vanderbilt also runs a lot of players for its shooters according to UMHoops.com, so defensive communication and good contests are going to be essential for the Wolverines.

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