Match-up: #20 Michigan (19-6) @ Northwestern (14-10)
Date: Tuesday, February 6th 2018
Time: 7 PM ET
Location: Allstate Arena Rosemont, Illinois
Line: Michigan (-1.5)
Michigan basketball hits the Windy City for a road clash with the Wildcats of Northwestern. Painful memories flood the Wolverines minds from the last time they played a road game against Northwestern. With 1.7 seconds left on the clock, Northwestern completed a hail mary finished by a layup to stun the Wolverines 67-65.
Michigan avenged the loss last week, topping the Wildcats 58-47 in Ann Arbor. Michigan would love nothing more than to sweep the Wildcats and avoid any more madness against the Wildcats.
McIntosh entered the year as one of the top senior names to know in college hoops, and for a good reason. The guard led Northwestern to their first-ever NCAA bid while posting career numbers. The expectation was for him to do this once again, but injuries and inconsistent play have led to an underwhelming year.
McIntosh posted only 6 points in 35 minutes last week, but the senior shouldn’t be counted on to play poorly again. He has seen double-figure scoring marks in 4 of his previous five games, with the lone exception being the game in Ann Arbor. Michigan will look to instill the same dominance over McIntosh that they did last week tonight.
If Northwestern is going to upset Michigan, this man will undoubtedly be heavily involved. The senior is the most consistent scorer for the Wildcats, posting 13 or more points in his last 5 games. Lindsey most recently had 15 points against the Wolverines. Lindsey doesn’t shoot well from outside, so forcing him to settle for outside looks will be a crucial piece for Beilein’s squad.
Law gave the Wolverines fits last season, but Michigan got the better of him a week ago. The junior struggled on the way to just 6 points on 2-8 shooting. Whether it be Isaiah Livers or Duncan Robinson, keeping Law out of the paint will be vital in fending off any potential upset.
Key to the Game
For Michigan, the biggest thing they need tonight is to avoid a slow start. Lately we have seen the Wolverines trail by as many as double digits in the first half, only to come back and survive late.
They can’t do that and expect to win on the road in the Big Ten. Against Nebraska, the Wolverines started slow, gave the home crowd energy, and the game was out of hand quickly. A fast start will go a long way for this team.
This game will not be a cake walk. If the Wolverines start slow as usual, it won’t look good. Northwestern hung around with Ohio State at home earlier in the year, and are coming off a nice road win over Wisconsin. This game has all the signals of a trap. The young Wolverines fall victim tonight.
Prediction: 64-60 Northwestern
Josh Swerdloff: 65-58 Michigan
Jake Rossler: 65-56 Michigan
Seth Berry: 67-61 Michigan
Andrew Shadler: 65-58 Michigan
Max Schnell: 62-55 Michigan
Evan Lynch: 68-65 Michigan
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