Game: (20) Michigan(19-6) @ Northwestern(14-10)
When: 7:00 PM EST, Tuesday February 6th
Where: Allstate Arena in Rosemont Illinois
Radio: WWJ 950
Spread: -1.5 Michigan
Overview: This is the second meeting between Northwestern and Michigan. Michigan comes off a gritty 76-73 overtime win over Minnesota on Saturday while Northwestern comes off a 60-52 win at Wisconsin on Thursday. Michigan has lost the last four out of six games at Northwestern and will be looking to snap that streak tonight.
The Wolverines have to feel fortunate that they got a win against the Gophers because of their free throw woes. They are ranked 342nd in the country in free throws which is really, really bad. That will lead to a early exit in March, especially against better competition. Charles Matthews had a rough game against the Gophers, 4 of 11 from the field. However, he had 14 points against Northwestern so it will be interesting how they deal with him tonight. Michigan struggled early with Northwestern’s zone defense so it is important for them to not get impatient and get good looks. The Wildcats are 3rd in offensive rebounding and it is important that the Wolverines crash the glass defensively. This is a defense that held Northwestern to 47 points, a season low for the Wildcats.
You cannot overlook Northwestern, they play tough and scrappy and they always give Michigan fits. Their zone defense holds opponents to a season average of 62.4 points per game which shows how much their defense improved compared to their use of man to man defense. They are looking for a signature win and the last time that the Wolverines came to town, the Wildcats won on a buzzer beater. But they do have trouble with the pick and roll so expect the Wolverines to go with that often.
I really underestimated the Wildcats the first time around. They are no pushover and since it is at their place, their fans will be loud and ready to go. This is going to be a low scoring affair like the first time around. 67-57 Michigan