Sunday, March 30, 2014

Kentucky vs. Michigan Breakdown & Prediction

No. 8 Kentucky vs. No. 2 Michigan
Time: 5:05PM ET
Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium
Records: Kentucky 27-10; Michigan 28-8
Kentucky stat leaders: Points – Julius Randle (15.1 ppg); Rebounds – Randle (10.7 rpg); Assists – Andrew Harrison (3.9 apg); Steals – Aaron Harrison (1.1 spg).
Michigan stat leaders: Points – Nik Stauskas (17.3 ppg); Rebounds – Jordan Morgan (5.0 rpg); Assists – Stauskas (3.3 apg); Steals – Caris LeVert (1.2 spg).
Current Streaks: Kentucky W3, Michigan W3
Point Spread: Kentucky -2
Prediction: This should be a heck of a basketball game. Both teams have tremendous talent that should play in the NBA and both teams are obviously playing at a high level. The loss of Willie Cauley-Stein will be big for Kentucky, but the Wildcats can still win without him. If Michigan is going to win, it is going to have to show a better defensive effort than it typically does. Kentucky has the athletes to get into a shootout with the Wolverines and win. Jordan Morgan will again play a key role, dealing with Julius Randle, who has been playing as well as anyone in the tournament. If Morgan continues to play as well as he has, I think Michigan wins. He has done a good job of keeping the bigger bodies out of the paint when they get the ball and making them work hard for their shots. Offensively, Michigan will need to continue to shoot well. I am not sure the Wolverines can continue to hit their 3-point shots like they have, but today is not a good day for that to change. I am not sure what to expect with Kentucky’s perimeter defense. They have the capability to defend well, but get too relaxed at times. I am going to pick Michigan to win, but to me, this game is a toss-up. I could see it coming down to the last shot, but I could also see each team winning by a lot if the other goes cold on offense. Hopefully we see a classic. Michigan 76, Kentucky 75

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