Michigan Basketball (25-6, 12-6) will play Penn State (10-20, 2-16) in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. The game will tip off on Thursday afternoon at approximately 2:30 (EST) and it will be televised on the Big Ten Network. The Wolverines are ranked 6th in the nation, but earned just a 5 seed in the conference tourney.
The Nittany Lions picked up their first Big Ten victory when they knocked off Michigan in Happy Valley two weeks ago. Since then, Penn State picked up another conference win at Northwestern. They are led by guards DJ Newbill and Jermaine Marshall.
Michigan is playing on Thursday because they lost in agonizing fashion on Sunday against Indiana. When Jordan Morgan’s tip back shot inexplicably rolled off the rim, Michigan lost a share of the Big Ten championship and dropped into 5th place.
The Wolverines are led by the recently anointed Big Ten Player of the Year, Trey Burke. He finished the regular season averaging 19.2 points, 6.8 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. He is shooting 48.5% from the field and 39.6% from beyond the arc. Burke leads the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.48) and he is 24 assists away from breaking the school’s single season record (234).
Tim Hardaway Jr was named a first-team All-Big Ten selection and Glenn Robinson III was named to the All-Freshmen Team.
Michigan is playing much better now than they were when they lost at Penn State. The defensive intensity has picked up greatly and the Wolverines are outstanding in protecting the ball and creating turnovers. They are committing just 9.3 turnovers per contest, best in the nation and best in Michigan history.
With a victory over Penn State, Michigan will move on to the quarterfinals where they will play Wisconsin. That game will tip on Friday at approximately 2:30pm and be televised on ESPN.
Predictions: So far this season, I am 26-5 and Joe is 25-6 predicting the outcome of Michigan Basketball games. We both like the Wolverines to roll past Penn State and into the quarterfinals.
Michigan has a 12-14 record in the Big Ten Tournament.
Michigan has been ranked in the Top 8 all season.
Trey Burke is the sixth Wolverine to earn the Big Ten’s highest honor as he joins Cazzie Russell (1965 & 1966), Campy Russell (1974), Roy Tarpley (1985), Gary Grant (1988) and Glen Rice (1989) as Wolverines to earn the award.