Basketball is not football, but Michigan beating Ohio State is always going to feel good.
Michigan regained its early season form in a curb-stomping of the Indiana Hoosiers over the weekend. Starting the game on a 17-0 run, one could even describe it as a boat-racing. Whatever your preference, the Wolverines got back to their best basketball: defense and Ignas Brazdeikis.
The Buckeyes are a weird team. Before a 70-60 victory in Lincoln against the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Ohio State had lost five in a row. Prior to that, they’d started the season 12-1 with wins against the Syracuse Orange and Cincinnati Bearcats.
OSU freshman Luther Muhammad put in 24 points, as leading scorers Kaleb Wesson and C.J. Jackson were held to 10 points each. Muhammad was 3-of-4 from behind the line while the rest of the team combined to go 6-for-23.
While Jackson and Wesson are the only two Buckeyes to average double figures, they do manage their depth well. Seven players in their rotation average more than seven points per game. Michigan’s team defense needs to come ready to play. Each of Ohio State’s top five scorers shoots better than 33 percent from three, so you can’t sleep on them.
Against the Hoosiers, Michigan was led by Brazdeikis, with three other players scoring in double figures. Charles Matthews, struggling with his shot, brought solid defense and grabbed 11 rebounds on his way to a double-double. Jon Teske continued his run of strong play and Zavier Simpson managed a very balanced stat-line of 12 points, six rebounds and five assists. Jordan Poole struggled for the second straight game, so you hope he can pick it back up tonight.
The running joke for a while has been “Michigan is a basketball school.” Grabbing another victory over Ohio State will feed even more truth into it.
How To Watch:
Date: Tuesday, Jan. 29
Location: Crisler Center — Ann Arbor, Michigan
Tipoff: 9 p.m.
Television: ESPN2 (WatchESPN Link Here)