Round Of 32: #7 Texas Vs. #2 Michigan
- CoachingAfter missing out on the March Madness college basketball tournament last year, Rick Barnes has his Texas Longhorns not only back in the tournament, but moving on into the Round of 32. With 14 20-win seasons at Texas, Barnes is now looking for his first Sweet 16 appearance since 2008.John Beilein is in his seventh year as the head coach with the Michigan Wolverines and is hoping to take his team to the championship after falling short last season in the NCAA Finals. After finishing the regular season ranked first in the Big Ten, his Wolverines look strong after their 17-point win over Wofford.
- OffenseHeading into the March Madness college basketball tournament, Texas was a solid, if inconsistent team. However, it wasn’t their offense that was a problem in their win over Arizona State, as the team shot 53.4 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from beyond the arc. Six players scored in double digits, and it was one of the Longhorns’ better performances.Michigan played a horrible offensive game against 15-seed Wofford in their first game of the tournament. They shot 47.8 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from beyond the arc, but they opened the second half by missing 15 of their first 18 shots. Only three Wolverine players scored double-digits, and their back-to-back sub-60 point games are their lowest output since early February.
- DefenseCameron Ridley not only led the team in scoring in the Longhorns win (17), but he also hit the buzzer-beating basket to give Texas the big win and led the team in rebounds as well, with 12 total and seven defensively. Much like the rest of the season, they gave up a lot of points (85), which almost cost them the game. However, they finished the game with 30 rebounds, six steals and five blocks, the main reason they were able to keep close and move on in the tournament.Heading into the March Madness tournament, the Michigan offense was always something special, but their defense was suspect. It’s one reason they were not seen as a legitimate threat, despite their two seed. However, they won their first game of the tournament thanks to their defense, holding Wofford to 34 percent shooting from the field and a horrific 5.3 percent from three point land. It was a good defensive effort from a team not known for their D.
- Bench DepthBoth Connor Lammert and Martez Walker notched over 20 minutes from the bench, with Walker scoring 16 points and Lammert bringing down seven rebounds. Overall, it was a solid performance from the bench.The Wolverines bench was almost non-existent. Six players played from off the bench, with Zak Irvin leading the way with 20 minutes. However, the entire bench only scored six points with four total rebounds.
The Michigan Wolverines are a two-seed and won their game in more dominating fashion than the Texas Longhorns, who had to win on a buzzer beater. However, Texas had a tougher opponent and looked better beating them while Michigan didn’t play anywhere near as well against inferior opposition. Michigan should be able to beat Texas, but if they play like they did in their first games of the tournament, Texas could pull the upset here. It should be close, decided by around two points.