|6 MINN (-109) @ pinnacle|
My 9* Revenge Rout-Part 2 is on Minnesota at 2:00 ET.
Michigan's Juwan Howard's first season as head coach saw his team open 7-0, then go 6-9 over its next 15 games. A six-game win streak followed but Michigan lost three of four before the shutdown (19-11 finish). Howard's sophomore year at Michigan has everyone's attention! Michigan got some extra time to prepare for the No. 9 Badgers on Tuesday, as its scheduled game at Penn State last Saturday was postponed due to COVID-19 issues within the Nittany Lions' program. Fueled by a suffocating defense, the No. 7 Wolverines routed Wisconsin 77-54 on Tuesday to remain the Big Ten's only undefeated team. Michigan held Wisconsin to 30.8% shooting, while making 51.6% themselves. Michigan led the Badgers by as much as 40 points and now faces No. 23 Minnesota (10-4, 3-4 Big Ten) for the second time in three games. Richard Pitino is in his eighth season at Minnesota. He led the Gophers to the NIT championship in his first season (2013-14) but over the last six seasons, Minnesota has made just two NCAA appearances (2017 and 2019), while going a combined 56-71 (.441) over the other four. The Gophers opened 9-1 in Pitino's 8th season but have lost THREE of four entering this game.
Gone from Michigan's team last season are PG Simpson (12.9-4.5-7.9) and the 7-1 Teske (11.6 & 6.7). 6-7 senior Livers led Michigan in scoring last season and is averaging 13.8 & 5.5 this season. The Wolverines have an experienced group but their leading scorer is 7-1 freshman Hunter Dickinson (17.5 & 7.9). Experience comes in guards Wagner (12.5 & 7.1), Smith (9.2 & 5.4 APG), Brown (9.0), Brooks (8.7 & 3.6 APG). Michigan is averaging 82.0 PPG on 52.4% shooting (8th), while holding opponents to 65.8 PPG on 36.9% shooting (8th).
Minnesota PG Carr (20.9-3.9-5.5) ranks with the best in the nation and has been aided by THREE transfers, 7-0 Liam Robbins (13.7 & 7.2) from Drake, the 6-6 Gach (10.5-5.3-3.0) from Utah and the 6-8 Johnson (8.1 & 6.0) from Western Michigan. Plus, don't dismiss returning junior guard Kalescheur, who's adding 9.8 PPG. Carr finished with a modest 14 points (made just 5 of 16 FG attempts) when Michigan routed Minnesota 92-57 in Ann Arbor on Jan 6. Michigan's Dickinson scored a career-high 28 points and had eight rebounds that night, as Michigan shot 56.9 percent from the floor.
So what's the difference here? Minnesota's at home in Williams Arena where the Gophers are 10-0, averaging 85.5 PPG. The Gophers have beaten then-No. 4 Iowa (102-95), then-No. 17 Mich St (81-56) and then-No. 25 Ohio St (77-60) in this venue! Now-No. 7 Michigan suffers a similar fate! Take the points!