According to Kenpom, the Cowboys have the best offense in the country.
Michigan Wolverines vs. Oklahoma State – 12:15 p.m. They will be facing the Big Ten Tournament champions, who won four games in four days as the No. 8 seed to claim the conference tournament title.
My suggestion would be to glue Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman (“MAAR”) on Evans and hope he can slow him down. In fact, every regular player in Michigan’s rotation is a threat from beyond the arc.
Defensively, Michigan held Jawun Evans to 23 points on 10-of-26 shooting, but he also handed out 12 assists to 4 turnovers. Davon Reed and Bruce Brown will combine for eight 3-pointers for Miami and they’ll finish with 11 long balls. In addition to great shooting, MI takes care of the ball better than any team in the country, averaging just 9.4 turnovers per game.
KenPom gives MI a 51 percent probability of winning and sets it as a one-point favorite. The Wolverines also struggle on the glass and finished second to last in the Big 10 with -1.9 rebounding margin. Yet they still find themselves favored in this matchup against Michigan State. MI gets better marks on the defensive end, however, and looks to be a slight favorite by the metrics.
Friday’s Big Dance action in the Midwest Region is tennis shoe kick started when the Michigan Wolverines and the Oklahoma State Cowboys take Bankers Life Fieldhouse floor in Indianapolis. This year, OSU finished the Season 20-12 overall and 9-9 in the Big 12.
In a college basketball game football fans might like, Michigan State meets Miami on Friday night in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Evans added 12 assists for his fourth double-double of the season. But the bench has done little in the Cowboys’ recent three-game losing streak, which might signal a key for U-M. After a breakout, if streaky, sophomore season in which he lead the team in scoring, a back procedure before his junior year sidelined him for almost two months.
INJURED DUCK: Chris Boucher hardly envisioned watching the NCAA Tournament from the bench with a serious injury, but his role changed in a hurry for No. 3 seed OR when he went down with a torn ACL during a semifinal victory against California during last weekend’s Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas.
Phil Forte extended his Oklahoma State career records for three pointers made (329) and three-pointers attempted (832). He’s been so successful, though, because of his willingness to put in hours or prep and film study to make sure his guys aren’t surprised come game day. But it was a great show, just when we needed one. The Aggies smelled upset early, were shooting unusually well and led at halftime, but the Bears blew it open with a 53-point second half, switching its defense along the way and attacking the rim.
The win improved the team’s chances of making the NCAA tournament.
This will be Michigan’s 27th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. They’ve really gelled around first-year head coach Brad Underwood, who ran a dynasty at Stephen F. Austin, and led the Lumberjacks to a first-round beatdown of West Virginia last year. The Cowboys shot 54.7 percent from the field in the game. “It’s them doing a good job letting me see the puck”. The Wolverines just hit a couple more shots when it counted. The pokes HAVE to come up big on the glass.
But Oklahoma State is a team that likes to push the pace (No. 64 in tempo) and score. The third and fourth lines have had spurts, but some players have gone into a slump too.
One reason both teams are so good: They shoot the lights out.