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10 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

z
Friday, March 16, 2012 - 7

* The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Friday, March 16, 2012 - 7

Breakdown: Blue vs. Ohio

ALDEN REISS/Daily
Freshman guard Trey Burke, a native of Columbus, will be playing in his first NCAA Tournament on Friday night.
Tournament play vs. Ohio

By DANIEL WASSERMAN
Daily Sports Writer
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - With
its highest seed since 1998, the
Michigan men's basketball team
will kick play off in the NCAA
Tournament on
Friday against
Ohio. Ohio VS.
The 1998 Michigan
team, a three-
seed, was upset Ohi 27-7;
in the tourna- Michigan 24-9
ment's open-
ing weekend when: Friday
and has since 7:20P.M.
been banished Where:
from the record Bridgestone
books due to Arnea
sanctions. The TV/Radio:
Wolverines TNT
have to look
back to 1994 to find the last team
that made it out of the opening
weekend. Since then, Michigan
has just four tournament wins.
StandingInfrontoftheWolver-
ines (13-5 Big Ten, 24-9 overall)
are the MAC Champion Bobcats.
Riding a four-game win streak,
Ohio (11-5 MAC, 27-7 overall) is
making its first appearance in
the Big Dance since 2010, when it
upset third-seeded Georgetown.
"We're not going to overlook
this team," said freshman point
guard Trey Burke. "They won
the MAC for a reason. We know
how good they can play and how
well they've been playing lately.
Just watching film lately, we see
... their go-to guys and how good
they can be."

One of those players is guard
D.J. Cooper. The junior leads
Ohio with nearly 15 points and six
assists per game.
But Michigan also has some
history on its side. This won't be
the first time that the Wolverines
will run into the Bobcats in post-
season play. In 1964, Michigan
defeated Ohio, 69-57, en route to
the program's first Final Four.
Additionally, in games follow-
ing each of the Wolverines' eight
regular-season losses this year,
Michigan is yet to lose. The play-
ers say their ability to bounce back
is all mental, and they earned it in
the film room.
"You've got to put pride aside
and grow up a little bit," said
senior guard Stu Douglass. "Just
take responsibility for your own
actions and move on and ask
yourself, 'what are you going to do
for this team?' instead of saying,
'Woe is me, why is coach picking
on me?' Maturity and growing up
and the experience we had last
year has helped us a lot."
To avoid a similar fate to their
1964 tournament team, the Bob-
cats will need to play the superb
perimeter defense they've used all
season, holding opposing 3-point
shooters to just 29.6 percent.
Perhaps the most important
shooter on the floor for the Wol-
verines is their primary ball
handler, Burke. The correlation
between strong performances
from Burke and Michigan wins
was magnified in Indianapolis at
last week's Big Ten Tournament.
In the opening round, Burke

shot 75 percent from long range
on his way to 30 points, lifting the
Wolverines to a 73-69 overtime
win over Minnesota. But the fol-
lowing day, when the point guard
was held without a 3-point make
and finished with just five points,
Michigan was throttled by Ohio
State.
The Columbus native is the
only notable contributor that lacks
NCAA Tournament experience.
The rest of Michigan's starting
lineup started in the Wolverines'
75-45 win over Tennessee and
the ensuing 73-71 loss to Duke
last March. But Burke, who has
displayed exceptional composure
all season, has the support of his
teammates, who aren't concerned
about his lack of experience.
"I haven't even thought about
(talking to him about staying
calm), and I won't do it - won't
even think about doing it," Dou-
glass said. "The whole experience
thing, needing that experience
has kind of gone out the win-
dow. It started with playoff-time
experience with Minnesota, and
he basically carries us the entire
game. Then he had a rough game
against Ohio State. So he's had a
wide range of experiences already
in postseason play."
Should the Wolverines beat the
Bobcats, they'll move on to face
the winner of the Temple-South
Florida game.
The fifth-seeded Owls are the
favorite, but the Bulls are riding
the momentum of a convincing
65-54 win over California in the
first round.

By LUKE PASCH finishing up with an impressive
Daily SportsaEditor 42-percent from behind the arc.
He has also shown the capacity
It's uncanny that in the year to drive when defenders get too
that Michigan's Athletic Depart- close, and when he gets to the
ment shortened "Ohio State" to line, he's lights out (91 percent).
the simpler "Ohio" moniker, the Though Kellogg doesn't pos-
Wolverines drew 13-seed Ohio sess quite the same talent his
University in the second round of father Clark had when he was a
the NCAA Tournament. starting forward for Ohio State
The Bobcats are not rivals in the early 1980s, Nick averages
with Michigan in the same sense just under nine points a game. If
as the Buckeyes, nor do they he is not properly accounted for,
present as talented of a lineup. you can tab him as that X-factor
Yet a mere glimpse at Ohio's ros- player for the Bobcats.
ter and its season's accomplish- From Douglass, expect to see
ments proves that Friday night's the usual - solid fundamentals,
matchup in Nashville shouldn't a decent shooting performance
be a cakewalk for four-seed from long range and the occa-
Michigan. sional cut to the basket. It's noth-
Upon winning the Mid-Amer- ing flashy, but he gets the job
ican Conference Tournament done.
Championship against Akron on Edge: Douglass
Saturday, Ohio punched its ticket Wing Guard: Tim Hardaway
to March Madness and will look Jr. vs. Walter Offutt
to bust brackets with an upset at You never really know which
Bridgestone Arena. Tim Hardaway Jr. you're going
Here, we break down how the to get. Will he pick his shots and
two squads match up, position by attack the rim when the situation
position. calls for it? Or will he settle for
Point Guard: Trey Burke vs. shooting and missing contested
D.J. Cooper 3-pointers ad nauseam?
Nobody quite knows what to On Friday, Hardaway Jr. will
make of Burke's performance in need to be versatile in his offen-
the Big Ten Tournament semifi- sive approach because he'll likely
nal against Ohio State last Satur- be matched up with experienced
day. For the first time all season, redshirt junior Walter Offutt,
the freshman actually played who transferred from Ohio
like a freshman, getting himself State after the 2009-10 season.
into foul trouble early, commit- In his first year back in action,
ting a whopping eight turnovers Offutt has filled a Zack Novak-
and shooting an abysmal 1-for-11 type role, leading the team with
from the field. a solid defensive foundation and
Surely, playing against such the ability to shoot and attack the
a stingy defense played a fac- basket on the other end.
tor, and Burke should fare better The edge in this matchup will
against Ohio junior D.J. Cooper, likely depend on which Hard-
who is not as widely known for away Jr. shows up, but expect
his perimeter defense. Offutt to prove his worth on Fri-
The Bobcat point guard is a day.
prolific scorer, though, and he Edge: Offutt
tends to be Ohio's go-to guy. He's Wing Forward: Zack Novak vs.
the only one on the roster aver- Jon Smith
aging more than 30 minutes per Throughout his senior season,
game this season, and he leads Novak has symbolized the foun-
the team with 14.6 points per dation of the Michigan basket-
game. ball program, and his presence
Though those 'numbers are in Ann Arbor has played a major
comparable to Burke's (36 min- role in the Wolverines' turn-
utes per game, 14.8 points per around over the past few years.
game), Cooper is not nearly as Starting Friday, he has a chance
efficient of a shooter. He typical- to put an exclamation point on
ly relies on taking many attempts that turnaround by opening a
from the field, which won't be deep run in the NCAA Tourna-
effective against a Michigan ment.
offense that likes to eat the clock And barring any Bobcat line-
on its offensive possessions. up surprises, Novak has a good
Edge:Burke chance to wreak havoc on the
Shooting Guard: Stu Douglass perimeter.
vs. Nick Kellogg The 6-foot-7 Smith is not
Senior guard and co-captain known for guarding versatile
Stu Douglass has an opportu- guard-forward hybrids like
nity to prove that he is one of Novak, and he could have trouble
his conference's best perimeter keepingup.
defenders because Nick Keljogg Smith may get some easy
is likely to challenge him from buckets underneath due to his
long range. The sophomore has height advantage, but he hasn't
rained 3-pointers all season long, proven to be much of a scorer at

all this season.
Edge: Novak
Center: Jordan Morgan vs. Ivo
Baltic
Ivo Baltic has been a rock for
Ohio all season long, and Morgan
may need help from teammates
to defend him in different areas
of the floor. Baltic has shown the
ability to step out and pop the
midrange jumper, and occasion-
ally the 3-pointer (he has five on
the season).
But then again, Baltic is no
Jared Sullinger, who terrorized
the Michigan frontcourt on Sat-
urday to the tune of 24 points.
Morgan has seen tougher play-
ers come through his territory
throughout Big Ten competition,
so don't be surprised if he has a
rebound performance against
the Bobcats on Friday.
Edge: Morgan
Bench:
Michigan coach John Beilein
is not known to rely on his bench.
This season, Burke, Hardaway
Jr., Douglass and Novak all aver-
age over 30 minutes on the floor
per game. And the fifth starter,
Morgan, would probably be clos-
er to that mark if he wasn't con-
sistently in foul trouble.
That said, forward Evan
Smotrycz has pieced together a
solid sophomore campaign off
the bench, shooting 42 percent
from 3-point range.
Ohio coach John Groce uses
an extensive rotation in his line-
up. He'll likely call on junior for-
ward Reggie Keely to tangle with
Morgan underneath at times, and
he'll rely on 5-foot-9 freshman
Stevie Taylor to provide a spark
from the perimeter.
. Beilein should be a bit wary
that the Bobcats are consistently
rotating and running the floor
with fresh legs.
Edge: Ohio
intagibles:
The outcome of this game may
be very dependent on how Burke
handles the pressure of playing
in his first NCAA Tournament
game. But Burke has played on
a big stage at every level in his
career, and he's about as cool and
calm as freshmen come.
It also helps that all of his non-
freshmen teammates have tour-
nament experience under their
belts.
Cooper, Keely and Baltic all
have NCAA experience with
Ohio as well. In 2010, Cooper
led the Bobcats in an upset over
Georgetown in the first round,
scoring23 points.
But winning in March
requires great team leaders, and
it's always hard betting against
Novak and Douglass.
Edge: Michigan
Prediction: Michigan 65, Ohio
58

Wolverines focus.on Oklahoma in first-round matchup

By COLLEEN THOMAS
Daily Sports Writer
Now that all the excitement
and tears that came with being
selected to the NCAA Tourna-
ment have passed, it's back to
work for the
Michigan Oklahoma
women's bas-
ketball team. VS. Michigan
The Wol- Matchup:
verines (8-8 Okla. 20-12;
Big Ten, 20-11 Mich. 20-11
overall) began When: Sanday
Tuesday's 7:35 P.M.
practice with Where' Lloyd
a quick huddle Noble Center
on the prac- T
tice court, then TV/Radio:
ESPN2
they made the
trip upstairs to
the film room to start breaking
down their next opponent: Okla-
homa.
Though Michigan will have
just a few days to prepare for
Sunday's game in Norman, Okla.
against the Sooners (11-7 Big
12, 20-12), the squad will have Junior center Rachel Sheffer and the Michigan women's basketball team earned their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2001.
almost a full two weeks of post-
season preparation under its and refining its plays instead of Iowa State. season runner-up in the confer- pa
belt. The last time the Wolver- focusing practice on a certain "The Big 12 is a very com- ence, behind undefeated No. 1 mt
ines took the court was March opponent. petitive conference, just like Baylor. The Sooners boast a tall too
3 in their Big Ten Tournament Now that it knows its first- the Big Ten," said junior guard lineup: six of eight players that me
quarterfinal loss to Ohio State. round opponent, Michigan has Jenny Ryan. "They're very well- are scoring threats come in at ac
They have taken some time taken a good look at Oklahoma. coached, they have great play- over 6-foot, and three average thr
off to rest their bodies, which The Big 12 has some similarities ers and scorers. It's going to be a double digits. 371
have worn down over the course to the Big Ten, such as physical battle - we've seen Big 12 teams The sophomore duo of Aaryn
of the season, but they haven't post play, but the Wolverines before, so we know the caliber Ellenberg and Morgan Hook is
slowed down in practice. The don't really know much about of play. We're just excited to make up Oklahoma's backcourt, av
week before Selection Mon- their opponent - the last time have the opportunity to take it at combining for 26 points per an
day, the team was still working Michigan played a Big 12 oppo- them." game. Ellenberg was selected to
hard, focusing on its strengths nent was Dec. 4, when it defeated Oklahoma was the regular- the All-Big 12 first team and sur- mt

in the paint for the Sooners.
Though Oklahoma has 6-foot-6
center Nicole Griffin, she isn't as
dominant on the boards as Hand,
averaging just three rebounds
per game.
But undersized post play
is familiar to the Wolverines.
Junior center Rachel Sheffer
stands at 6-foot-1, but she has
seen much success under the
basket against taller, more physi-
cal players throughout Big Ten
play
"The Big
12 is a very
competitive
conference."

ssed the 1,0
ark this season
ok Michigan s
en Reynolds t
complish. Elle
reat behind th
percent from1
Redshirt juni
the team's lea
eraging seven1
d tallying 13 p
Despite beingj
ay as well be t

"(The Big 12 is) a well-known
conference - they have big
PAULSHERMAN/Daily girls," Sheffer said. "But again,
the Big Ten has s lot of that, too.
00-career point. (The) Big Ten really is about post
, something that play and (is) known for big play-
enior guard Car- ers, (so) I think in that regards,
wice as long to we'll be ready."
enberg is also a While the Sooners will basi-
te arc, averaging cally be playing a home game at
long range. their arena in Norman, Okla. and
or Whitney Hand are the higher-seeded team, the
iding rebounder, Wolverines have confidence in
boards per game themselves and their senior lead-
oints per game. ership. And certainly, anything
just 6-foot-1, she can happen in the tournament.
he biggest threat After all, it is March.

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