Thursday, March 21, 2013

South Dakota State vs. Michigan Breakdown & Prediction

No. 13 South Dakota State vs. No. 4 Michigan
Time: 7:15PM ET
Venue: The Palace of Auburn Hills
Records: South Dakota State 25-9; Michigan 26-7
South Dakota State stat leaders: Points – Nate Wolters (22.7 ppg); Rebounds – Jordan Dykstra (7.9 rpg); Assists – Wolters (5.8 apg); Steals – Wolters (1.8 spg).
Michigan stat leaders: Points – Trey Burke (19.2 ppg); Rebounds – Mitch McGary (5.5 rpg); Assists – Burke (6.7 apg); Steals – Burke (1.6 spg).
Current Streaks: South Dakota State W4, Michigan L1
Point Spread: Michigan -11.5
Prediction: I think this is going to be a reasonably difficult opening game for Michigan. South Dakota State is no joke. The Jackrabbits have tremendous scoring ability and one of the top players in the entire tournament in Nate Wolters. South Dakota State is also in its second straight tournament appearance, so it won’t be overwhelmed by the environment and opponent. Despite all that, I think Michigan will win, because I think the Wolverines will be able to outscore the Jackrabbits. South Dakota State needs Wolters to give them a certain about of points, and if he can’t do that, the Jackrabbits will not be able to win. Michigan is able to survive if Trey Burke isn’t quite his usual self, as long as guys like Tim Hardaway Jr., Nik Stauskas, Mitch McGary or Glenn Robinson III step up. With Michigan being close to home and having a solid crowd behind it, I think the Wolverines will play composed and comfortable, and do enough to get the win tonight. Michigan 75, South Dakota State 68

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