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Iowa MBB – Big Ten Tourney (Rd 1) vs. UM Preview/Prediction

March 10, 2010

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Hawkeye Nation

Justin VanLaere’s preview/prediction for the Iowa-Michigan game in the first round of the 2010 Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis, IN.

Game Info

Iowa (10-21, 4-14) vs. Michigan (14-16, 7-11)
POMEROY RATINGS: Iowa – 164, Michigan – 65
March 11, 2010 • 1:30 p.m. (CST)
Indianapolis, IN • Conseco Fieldhouse
TV: ESPN2 (HD) • Live Stats: hawkeyesports.com
Series Record: Michigan leads 86-57 (Last Meeting, Michigan, 80-78 – OT, Feb. 16, 2010)

Probable Starting Lineups

Michigan
Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. Statistical Summary
G 4 Darius Morris 6-4 180 Fr. 4.7 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2.7 apg, .413 FG%, .644 FT%
G 1 Stu Douglass 6-3 185 So. 6.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.5 apg, .324 FG%, .783 FT%
G 3 Manny Harris 6-5 185 Jr. 17.7 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 4.1 apg, .416 FG%, .791 FT%
F 0 Zack Novak 6-5 210 So. 7.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.6 apg, .381 FG%, .667 FT%
C 34 DeShawn Sims 6-8 235 Sr. 16.9 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.1 spg, .492 FG%, .667 FT%

Iowa
Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. Statistical Summary
G 3 Cully Payne 6-1 190 Fr. 8.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.9 apg, .354 FG%, .627 FT%
G 5 Matt Gatens 6-5 215 So. 12.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.3 apg, .372 FG%, .830 FT%
F 25 Eric May 6-5 225 Fr. 9.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.4 apg, .410 FG%, .667 FT%
F 24 Aaron Fuller 6-6 230 So. 9.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 0.7 apg, .476 FG%, .676 FT%
C 50 Jarryd Cole 6-7 250 Jr. 8.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 0.5 apg, .571 FG%, .649 FT%

VanLaere Notes

No VLOG for this game.
Live Chat may or may not happen.  Check the site closer to game time to find out.

Alright, clean slate.  Everyone starts out 0-0 right?  Well, not quite… but for Iowa that’s the only way they can look at this thing.  After coming off one of the worst regular seasons in Iowa Basketball history, the Hawkeyes have nothing to lose in this tournament.  This used to BE Iowa’s tournament, for Christ’s sake.  Other than beating the pants out of Iowa, Michigan really hasn’t been that good under Beilein in the Big Ten Tournament.  So for the third straight year… whoopie…. Iowa gets Michigan again.  Stupid karma.

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If you’ve been watching Iowa basketball the past few weeks (I wouldn’t blame you if you haven’t), it feels like Iowa has mailed it in.  The Hawkeyes were absolutely annihilated in their two roads games at Wisconsin and at Minnesota.  Iowa lost by a combined 62 points in those two games, and couldn’t break 20 in the first halves of either of them.  I want to believe that the reason Iowa looked so bad was because Iowa is just a bad road team.  Well, that much can’t be disputed. The Hawkeyes are 1-10 on the road.  They are a bad, bad road team.  Conversely, they are 9-9 at home (still awful, but better nonetheless).  Iowa is 0-2 at neutral sites (losing to NCAA Bubble team Wichita State and NCAA team Texas).  Michigan, on the other hand, is 1-2 at neutral sites (beating a 16 win Creighton team, losing to NCAA team Marquette and 17 win Alabama team).  It’s safe to say neither of these team really play worth a crap away from their home arenas.

Michigan has lost 4 out of 5, with their lone win coming over Minnesota at home.  Iowa has lost 5 out 6, with their lone win coming over Indiana at home.  Beside Illinois (whom Iowa has yet to play), Michigan remains the only team Iowa has not beaten in the Big Ten Tournament.  The Hawkeyes are 0-4 all-time against the Wolverines.

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PLAYERS TO WATCH FOR:

Sims and Harris.  At this point in the season, if you haven’t seen what these two are capable of against Iowa, you haven’t been watching Iowa Basketball.  Let Douglass or Novak beat you.  Iowa just needs to stop one of these two to win the game.  Problem is, I don’t know if they can.

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KEYS TO THE GAME:

  • FRUSTRATE SIMS.  The key to Sims’ game is he starts to get on a roll early on and his confidence soars.  Hell, why not put in Andrew Brommer to start the game with the express role of bodying up Sims and annoying him?  I like the idea, save Cole for mid-first half assuming (and it’s a big assumption) that Brommer wouldn’t pile up 2 or 3 fouls in that time period.
  • EXTRA POSSESSIONS.  Biggest key for Iowa is that they haven’t been shooting the ball well lately.  They need as many possessions as they can get.  Offensive rebounds, limiting turnovers is huge.
  • GET GATENS GOING.  When Gatens looks good, Iowa looks good.  If he can get a game together remotely like the game he had going at home vs. Indiana, good things will happen.  The potential is there, Iowa needs to see it realized.

PREDICTION: Of all the predictions I’ve made this year, this one I have struggled with the most.  Let’s face it, Iowa just does not matchup with Michigan very well at all.  Beilein has a simply outcoached Lickliter nearly every single time their teams meet.  Even in games where Iowa had the win in hand (their last meeting in Carver), Iowa found a way to allow the Wolverines to leave with the win.  It does feel like Iowa has given up on the season.  I have a little voice in my head that keeps reminding of the force that is DeShawn Sims and what he has done to Iowa in his career.  There’s also this place in my heart that just does not want to give up on this Hawkeye squad regardless of how poorly they’ve played these past few weeks.  Iowa showed they have what it takes to beat UM last time they played (even though they couldn’t close it out), and I can’t see Conseco Fieldhouse being any more pro-Michigan than Carver was.  It’s also very, very tough to beat a team three times in one season unless you are leaps and bounds better as a team.  I don’t think Michigan is that far ahead of Iowa to make them immune to that rule of thumb.  Michigan will come into the game an 8 point favorite according to the guys out West.  I think we’ll see either Iowa win/lose a highly contested match or we’ll see Michigan pull away with a blowout win.  I’m throwing up a Hail Mary here with this prediction, and I realize it’s with the heart more than the head, but it is what it is at this point in the season.  Iowa’s not ready to mail it in.    Iowa 66,  Michigan 65

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