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The Michigan Wolverines will face the Villanova Wildcats in an intriguing Sweet 16 matchup. These two teams last faced each other in 2018. Michigan crushed Villanova in that matchup 73-46.
Michigan had a pretty mediocre regular season. They went 19-14 overall and 11-8 in conference play. All but one of Michigan’s conference wins came against the Big Ten’s unranked teams.
Michigan has faced two tough teams in March Madness. They went up against the Colorado State Rams in the First Round. The Ram’s were one of the best teams to come out of the West Coast Conference. Michigan beat Colorado State 75-63 behind Hunter Dickinson’s 21 point performance. Dickinson went 8-10 from the field and 5-5 from the free-throw line. He also came up big on defense with four blocks. In this game, Michigan’s starters were heavily depended on; four of the five starters scored 13 points or more.
The Wolverines faced the Tennessee Volunteers in the Second Round. They were down by five at the end of the first half but stormed back in the second and outscored Tennessee 44-31. They won the game 76-68. Hunter Dickinson and Eli Brooks both scored more than 20, but Dickinson had an incredible all-around game. Dickinson had 27 points on 8-13 shooting, 3-5 three-point shooting, and 8-10 free-throw shooting. He also had 11 rebounds, four assists, one steal, and one block.
The Wolverines struggle on defense and allow almost 70 points a game. They need to do better against Villanova, or they will be obliterated.
The Villanova Wildcats had another excellent season and went 28-7. They finished the regular season ranked sixth in the nation.
Villanova went up against the Delaware Blue Hens in the First Round. They won that game easily 80-60. Justin Moore led the Wildcats in scoring with his 21 points. He also had six assists and one steal.
Villanova had a more challenging Second Round matchup. They went up against the Ohio State Buckeyes and won 71-61. Collin Gillespie went off in that game. He played all but two minutes and finished with 20 points. He did not shoot that well but hit some clutch shots down the stretch.
Villanova has a veteran squad and has made deep runs the last few March Madnesses. They know how to win when it matters, so I am picking them to win.
Villanova beats Michigan 70-67. Michigan covers, Over 135.5 points.
|Michigan Wolverines||Head-to-Head||Villanova Wildcats|
|Juwan Howard||Head Coach||Jay Wright|
|19-14 (11-8, 7th in Big Ten)||Standing||28-7 (16-4, 2nd in Big East)|
|Leader (Per Game)|
|Hunter Dickinson (18.7)||PPG||Collin Gillespie (16.0)|
|Hunter Dickinson (8.4)||RPG||Jermaine Samuels (6.4)|
|DeVante’ Jones (4.6)||APG||Collin Gillespie (3.4)|
|Eli Brooks (1.2)||SPG||Brandon Slater (1.1)|
|Hunter Dickinson (1.5)||BPG||Jermaine Samuels (0.7)|
|Hunter Dickinson (.571)||FG%||Eric Dixon (.510)|
|Terrance Williams II (.388)||3P%||Eric Dixon (.516)|
The Michigan Wolverines upset Tennessee in their last game and can upset Villanova too. They have to avoid drawing fouls and create turnovers.
Villanova shoots incredibly well from the free-throw line. They hit 82.3% of their free-throw shots. The Wolverines have to play smart basketball and avoid fouling as much as possible.
Michigan does not play great defense; they allow 69.6 points per game and do not come up with many steals. They need to be active in the passing lanes and swipe the ball away from Villanova. If they do, they will limit Villanova’s scoring opportunities.
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The Wildcats are the favorites in this game but are a smaller team than Michigan. They need to protect the rim and win the rebounding battle to win this game.
Villanova does not have one center on their roster. The tallest player in their rotation is only 6’8”. They need to play big on defense and protect the rim. This will be difficult; Michigan’s leading scorer, Hunter Dickinson, is a 7’1” center.
Villanova has to rebound as a team against this bigger Michigan squad. They need to box out and not let the Wolverines’ big men grab every board. If they win the rebounding battle, they win the game.
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Hunter Dickinson has played all but seven minutes of the Wolverines’ last two games. He has not wasted his time in March Madness. He is averaging 24 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, and 1.0 steals in the last two games.
Dickinson needs to continue playing hard offense and defense against Villanova. Defensively, he needs to protect the rim and force Villanova to depend on outside shots.
Collin Gillespie has had a great season but stepped up his play in Villanova’s last game. He finished with 20 points and went a perfect 8-8 from the free-throw line.
Gillespie needs to continue drawing fouls against Michigan. Gillespie went 2-9 from deep against Ohio State. He needs to shoot better from the outside, but other than that, he should keep on playing his game and continue running the Wildcats offense.
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|Michigan Wolverines vs Villanova Wildcats Information|
|What||Michigan Wolverines vs Villanova Wildcats|
|Where||AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas|
|When||Thursday, March 24, 7:29 PM EST|
|How to Watch||TBS|
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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