The Michigan Wolverines will have a test against a consistent top team in the Big East in the Providence Friars. The two will square off in the championship game of the Air Force Reserve Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-off.
The Wolverines defeated a win less George Washington team last night behind 20 point performances by Charles Matthews and Jordan Poole. The final score was 84-61 in favor of Michigan in the semi-final match up of the season opening tournament.
Meanwhile, the Friars have started off with a 3-1 start to the years. Their only loss comes from the hands of Wichita State Shockers by just three points.
Michigan and Providence share one common opponent so far this year as both teams faced off with Holy Cross so far in the young season. Both teams were victorious in their affairs, but Michigan’s win was slightly more dominant.
Michigan won 56-37 in their game with Holy Cross, however, they trailed at the half 24-18. They woke up in the half time locker room as the Wolverines outscored Holy Cross 38-13 in the second half.
Providence on the other hand played a much closer game with the Crusaders. Similar to Michigan, the Friars trailed the Crusaders heading into the break, but they prevailed winning 70-61 in the game.
The Friars finished last season with 20 wins and were sixth in the Big East. They made the NCAA Tournament as one of the First Four, but did not make it further than that point.
Their leading scorer is junior guard Alpha Diallo who has posted 20 points and 10 rebounds a game at this point in the season. He is shooting 51% from the field and 52.5% from deep so far in the year. Michigan will have to find a way to slow down Diallo if they have hopes to take home the Air Force Reserve Tip-off crown.
The player to watch for Michigan is Zavier Simpson. He nearly recorded a triple-double against George Washington last night, and when the junior point guard is on he is very difficult to stop. When he isn’t the offense typically collapses with turnovers. Simpson will likely be called upon to try and slow down Diallo defensively and will need to have a big game on both sides of the ball if the Wolverines want to come out victorious.
How to Watch
Teams: No. 18 Michigan Wolverines (4-0) vs. Providence Friars (3-1)
Date: Sunday, Nov. 17
Location: Mohegan Sun Arena - Uncasville, Conn.
Tipoff: 1:30 p.m. ET
Television: ESPN, WatchESPN