6 reasons Michigan Basketball will beat #1 ranked Arizona

With Michigan sitting outside the Top 25 and looking in with a 6-3 record, this season hasn’t started off quite the way most had hoped it would. The loss at Iowa State, while not surprising, was still disappointing. The loss to Charlotte in Puerto Rico was disconcerting. A trip to Duke resulted in Michigan being saddled with their third loss of the season. The Wolverines didn’t lose their third game last year until Feb. 9.

The table is set for Michigan to salvage their non-conference schedule. It may seem ludicrous to think that with the #1 ranked Arizona Wildcats up next on the docket. If you’ll allow me, I’ll explain why this game has upset city written all over it.

1. Michigan followed up the Duke loss by dismantling Houston Baptist. Yes, they’re supposed to crush a team like that. However, the Wolverines more than doubled the Huskies’ point total in a 107-53 thrashing.

2. Arizona hails from the Mountain time zone and Saturday’s noon tip greatly favors the Wolverines. After traveling across the country, the Wildcats will step into a frenzied Crisler Center at 10am Mountain time.

3. Arizona won on Wednesday night to run their record to a sparkling 10-0. Meanwhile, Michigan has had the entire week off. Giving John Beilein a full week to prepare for a game is a thought that keeps opposing coaches up late at night.

michigan basketball

Mitch McGary (isportsweb)

4. The extra practice time is vital for Michigan’s best player, Mitch McGary. The big fella is still not in prime condition, but he is improving his strength and stamina on a daily basis. He played his best game of the season against Houston Baptist with a remarkable stat line of 12 points, 9 boards, 6 assists, 4 steals and a block.

5. In Michigan’s three losses, Glenn Robinson III has averaged 8 points per game. Houston Baptist was just the medicine he needed. He scored 17 points on 6-9 shooting including 2-4 from three-point range. More importantly, he looked like he was having fun and had some bounce in his step. There are few, if any, players who can electrify a crowd the way Robinson does.

6. Michigan is 36-2 at home over the last three seasons. Crisler Center has never looked better and the energy in the building the last three years has been high voltage. Thanks in large part to a revved up Maize Rage, it’s a true home-court advantage for the Wolverines.

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So there you have it folks. A six-pack of lucid reasons why Michigan will win on Saturday. This is a pivotal game for the Wolverines. A loss will drop them to 6-4. A win would be high profile, confidence building, bump their record up to 7-3 and give them some much needed positive momentum.

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  • Chezaroo

    Hope your right Rob! Our transition D will determine if we have a shot at an upset. Arizona’s guards are what makes this team go, despite all the ballyhooed big men. The time difference is a big variable as well, but we undoubtedly will have to shoot a high percentage from three to have a shot.

    • http://isportsweb.com/ Rob White

      Yes, Michigan will have to shoot well and they usually do at home.

  • WOLVERINE

    ^ROB WHITE^,
    what happened to my comment? What gives???!!!! THANKS!!!!
    BEST REGARDS,
    – WOLVERINE
    p.s. I FORGOT TO MENTION THAT A HUGE MASSIVE KEY WILL BE FACE-GUARDING AND PREVENTING AARON GORDON FROM GETTING THE REBOUND (EVEN IF THAT MEANS THE MICHIGAN GUY GUARDING HIM, DOESN’T GET IT — THIS IS WHERE SWOOP-IN REBOUNDING WILL BE KEY BY THE GUARDS AND FORWARD[S]). JOHN BEILEIN DID THIS AGAINST DRAYMOND GREEN IN A GAME AGAINST MICHIGAN STATE @HOME A COUPLE OF SEASONS AGO, AND IT WORKED. SIMPLY PUT, WE NEED TO GANG-REBOUND AND/OR TEAM-REBOUND, LIKE . . .

    ****^^^^THERE IS NO TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!^^^^****

  • WOLVERINE

    ALSO, FORGOT TO MENTION, THAT TEAMS HAVE 6 TOTAL TIMEOUTS FOR THE ENTIRE GAME. I WOULD USE 3 OR 4 OF THEM IN THE FIRST HALF (AND OF THE 6 I WOULD USE 2-4 OF THEM FOR REST FOR MITCH MCGARY)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    – WOLVERINE

  • redandblue

    Lucid, maybe. Accurate, not so much. Is your number 1 reason really that you doubled up HBU? Did you see how UofA dominated Duke in the second half of that game? No self-respecting fan would compare beating HBU to beating the #1 team in the country.

    Onto the accuracy (or lack thereof), Tucson is in the Mountain Standard time zone, not the Pacific time zone. So while you are correct that it will be 9am Pacific time, it will be 10am in Tucson, which is where UofA will be coming from, in case your version of google maps doesn’t work. That said, if you don’t think 18 &19 year olds can play basketball at 10am, why is it such an advantage to play 2 hours later?

  • WOLVERINE

    yet something else that I forgot (yeah it has been that type of week + heart of finals): BEATING ARIZONA WILL GET US BACK IN THE TOP 25 FOR THE AP POLL == ANOTHER MOTIVATION, INCENTIVE, DETERMINATION, INSPIRATION FOR MICHIGAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    – WOLVERINE

  • Dwain

    Get out much??? Anybody can be beaten on any day, but put down the koolaid son. I thought your name was Ron White for a minute there with comedy that spewed from your fingertips.

    • WOLVERINE

      ^Dwain^,
      EXACTLY!!!! #1-RANKED (IN THE AP POLL) MICHIGAN STATE (AT THE TIME) LOST ^^^^AT HOME^^^^ TO AN UNRANKED NORTH CAROLINA TEAM!!!! THAT VERY SAME NORTH CAROLINA TEAM LOST AT HOME TO UNRANKED BELMONT (ALSO HAD A BAD LOSS TO UAB)!!!! MIAMI (FLA.) HAD A VERY BAD LOSS (CAN’T REMEMBER OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD WHO IT WAS TO) AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR. THANKS & PEACE!!!!
      BEST REGARDS,
      W-O-L-V-E-R-I-N-E

  • http://isportsweb.com/ Rob White

    Thanks for the feedback. My mistake on the time zone and I even lived in Arizona for 4 months once, but that was a long time ago.
    The time zone factor is an issue, albeit not a major one, but it does play into Michigan’s favor. If you’ve ever traveled across the country, you know what I’m talking about.
    My point about the Houston Baptist game is that Michigan played very well and hopefully started finding some rhythm.

  • YEEHAWMAN

    U-M’s last win over No. 1 came over Puke, 81-73, at Crisler on Dec. 13, 1997.

    The Wolverines are 2-23 all-time against the AP’s top-ranked team.

    The other win was on Dec. 14, 1964, an 87-85 win over No. 1 Wichita State.

    Michigan has dropped 10 straight against top-ranked opponents by an average of 15.6 points per loss.

    Michigan snapped a streak of 45 consecutive appearances in the AP poll falling out this week.

    Michigan is 80-25 at home, including a 36-2 mark from 2011-12 to 2013-14, in John Beilein’s seven years as head coach.

    The Wolverines are 43-2 against visiting non-conference teams over the past six seasons.

    The Wolverines are 1-7 SU all-time when facing the No. 1 team in the country in Ann Arbor.

    Michigan is averaging 89.0 points and winning each of those affairs by 25-or-more points.

    When Michigan scores 80-or-more points under head coach John Beilein—it has come away with a victory all 24 times.

  • http://isportsweb.com/ Rob White

    Another interesting tidbit;

    Michigan has 2 wins vs #1 ranked opponents
    12/13/97 over Duke
    12/14/64 over Wichita State

    This game against Arizona is on 12/14, good omen?

    • WOLVERINE

      ^Rob White^,
      YEEHAWMAN LISTED THAT ALREADY. THAT STAT, THOUGH, IS SLIGHTLY MISLEADING IN THAT IN THE 1964 GAME WE WERE RANKED AND IN THE 1997 GAME WE WERE UNRANKED.
      ^YEEHAWMAN^,
      GOOD STUFF, SAW YOUR COMMENT POST ON ANOTHER BOARD. THANKS & PEACE
      BEST REGARDS & VERY SINCERELY,
      W-O-L-V-E-R-I-N-E
      P.S. YOU MIGHT LIKE *STATSHEET* (ALL THE STUFF FOR MICHIGAN AND FOR ARIZONA, AS WELL)!!!!
      P.P.S. ^ROB WHITE^, NO BIGGIE THOUGH!!!! + AGREE WHOLEHEARTEDLY WITH YOUR LAST STATEMENT!!!!
      P.P.P.S. THIS IS THE FIRST ALL-TIME MEETING BETWEEN A SEAN MILLER LED-COACHED–TEAM AND A JOHN BEILEIN LED-COACHED TEAM, AS WELL AS THE FIRST TIME THAT MICHIGAN AND ARIZONA ARE PLAYING IN CRISLER ARENA/CENTER IN ANN ARBOR MICHIGAN (I.E. @HOME). MICHIGAN PLAYED ARIZONA, @ARIZONA (TUCSON, ARIZONA) IN THE LATE 1950′S FOR THE ONLY OTHER TRUE-HOME/AWAY GAME FORMAT (EXCLUDING IN-SEASON INVITATIONALS/TOURNAMENTS/CLASSICS), PRE-MCKALE CENTER ERA (WHAT WAS THE NAME OF THE HOME COURT/ARENA BACK THEN AND HOW LONG HAVE YOU PLAYED YOUR GAMES AT THE MCKALE CENTER?)

      • http://isportsweb.com/ Rob White

        I was highlighting the dates 12/13 in the Duke game, 12/14 in the Wichita State game and now 12/14 against Arizona. Seems like a good omen to me.

        • WOLVERINE

          I KNOW, AND I AGREED WITH YOU ON THE GOOD OMEN PART
          – WOLVERINE

  • Bob

    NOT TODAY! BEAR DOWN ARIZONA