Sunday, January 22, 2006

Countdown to the Showdown

T-minus 76 hours and counting until Michigan State and Michigan tip it up in Crisler Arena on Wednesday. The Spartans sit at 15-4 (3-2) and are fresh off a 30 pt pounding of Iowa at the Breslin Center. They are 1-2 on the road in conference play with losses by a combined 29 points at Wisconsin and Illinois and a double OT thrilling win in Columbus. The Wolverines are 13-3 (3-2) coming off back to back easy victories at Minnesota and against Northwestern following a nailbiter loss at Illinois. They are 2-0 at home with a close win over Purdue and an easy W over Northwestern.

The bad news for Michigan is that Lester Abram sprained his ankle in the win over Minnesota and his status is uncertain for Wednesday. I heard it didn't look pretty and I'm not holding my breath when the phrase "high ankle sprain" is tossed around. If Michigan was full strength, I think they are favored to win. But without Abram they will need to step up if they want to have a chance at victory.

3 keys to victory for Michigan?

1) Limit turnovers. MSU is dynamite in the open court and we don't need to give their offense any free help.

2) Win the rebounding battle. Along with the TOs, pounding the glass will help give us more possessions and more chances to win.

3) Hit the open shots. We will get open looks on the wing, but if we aren't hitting it will be a long day. Horton, Harris, Coleman, Smith,whoever...needs to be hitting those shots.

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