Pregame: Indiana Hoosiers vs. Michigan Wolverines

Indiana Hoosiers vs. Michigan Wolverines
February 12 @ 1 PM
CBS
Preview
Both of these teams come in to Sunday’s contest struggling. For Indiana, a 5-7 record in conference play and two consecutive losses. One at #9 Wisconsin and the latter at home to rival #16 Purdue. For Michigan, a two-game slide was stopped on Tuesday as they beat in state rival Michigan State. The season has been disappointing for both of these teams, just trying to make the best out of what is left to come. These two teams met up nearly 2 weeks ago in Ann Arbor where Michigan handed IU it’s biggest loss this season, 90-60.
Matchup to Watch
The last time these teams met, all five of Michigan’s starters were in double figures. On the other side, Indiana only had two players in double figures in Thomas Bryant and Robert Johnson. Thomas has been more offensive minded since the injuries to James Blackmon Jr and OG Anunoby, yet has been unable to have the big statement game that IU fans have been expecting all season. For Michigan, leading scorer Derrick Walton Jr has done nothing but impress and lead this team all season. The Hoosiers need to lock him down to keep the game under control.
X-Factor for Indiana
Indiana has been a team that battles all season. This has been evident even over their two-game losing streak. The energy and toughness is there, but the offensive and defensive efficiency is not. The Hoosiers often run late into the shot clock and force up shots. They also tend to give up easy second chance points as well. The Hoosiers just need to find their rhythm and stick to the game plan and try to win this game.
X-Factor for Michigan
Michigan is also a very good defensive team as they will pressure teams on the ball and sometimes full court. They force nearly 13 turnovers per game, and keep in mind that turnovers have been Indiana’s kryptonite this year. If Michigan can speed up the Hoosiers offense, or even make the Hoosiers go late into the shot clock and throw up shots, then the Wolverines will have a nice victory on the road and a two-game winning streak in the conference.
Key Stat
Indiana’s turnover margin in conference play is -3.4 meaning that they turn the ball over nearly three and half times more often than their opponent. Michigan’s defense is tough and versatile as the Hoosiers experienced in their last game against the Wolverines. Keeping control of the ball and the game will be huge for Indiana
Prediction
IU rarely loses back to back games in Assembly. James Blackmon is back and Indiana won’t stop fighting. Indiana 76 | Michigan 69
Jacob Lautenschlager
Indiana University |2020

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