Yesterday we took a spin around the web to see what people are thinking about their teams as we head into the first round of the tournament. Today we're going to look at the teams that are playing on Friday. Here is the Big Ten's Friday schedule:
7:20 PM 4 Michigan vs 13 Ohio - Nashville
7:27 PM 7 St. Mary's vs 10 Purdue - Omaha
9:20 PM 1 Michigan St. vs 16 LIU-Brooklyn - Columbus
7:20 PM 4 Michigan vs 13 Ohio
Alex Cook at Maize n Brew did some scouting on the Bobcats by watching their MAC Tournament win over Akron. He came away with some insights, including this one about Ohio's defense:
Despite having a 7-footer, Akron only ran a pick-and-roll at the top of the key once and Ohio didn't have their big man hedge and Cooper struggled getting over the screen. Michigan runs that pick-and-roll with Trey Burke and Jordan Morgan, so that could be an opportunity to exploit the Ohio defense.
Ace at mgoblog is happy that the Wolverines are playing as a four seed instead of a three:
I'm not saying Michigan dodged a bullet or anything when they slid down to a four-seed, but they dodged a bullet when they slid down to a four-seed. The three seed in the Midwest region, Georgetown, drew KenPom's #23-ranked team, trendy upset pick Belmont. By falling one seed line, Michigan will play their first-round game against #72 Ohio
He also has similar thoughts to Alex about what UM needs to do on offense:
An aggressive man defense like Ohio's means Michigan isn't going to create open jumpers simply by working the ball around the perimeter, so successfully taking advantage of defensive pressure via the screen is imperative.
Michigan fans don't seem too worried about the Bobcats, but they do seem sick of all of the jokes about Brady Hoke calling the Buckeyes "Ohio" and actually having to play Ohio.
7:27 PM 7 St.Mary's vs 13 Purdue
J Money at Boiled Sports lays out two scenarios in his post. One where Purdue makes a run:
If the Boilers were to advance out of the first weekend, this suddenly becomes the best chance to advance to a Final Four since the 2000 team had to only beat an 8-seed in the regional finals to get there.
And another where Purdue doesn't make it past the Gaels:
There's also the ever-present possibility that the cold-shooting, non-hustling, zero-rebounding iteration of Purdue will show up. I am confident this isn't going to happen in light of the way this team seemed to really begin to figure things out late in the season, but you never know.
Travis at Hammer and Rails thinks that the Boilers need to push the tempo on offense:
We should be quicker, so getting out in transition and attacking the rim with AJ, TJ, and LewJack is big.
There isn't really a consensus on the Boiler sites as to how this game will turn out, which isn't surprising since Purdue is a ten seed.
9:20 PM 1 Michigan St. vs 16 LIU-Brooklyn
KJ at The Only Colors takes a look at the West Region, and he sees a lot of underrated teams:
So the only damper on what was otherwise the BEST SELECTION SUNDAY EVER was the realization that the selection committee had dumped a bunch of distinctly-underrated-by-the-RPI mid-majors into Michigan State's section of the bracket. Seven of KenPom's top 20 teams are in the West, with the winner of a Friday game between #9 Memphis and #15 St. Louis awaiting the Spartans after LIU-Brooklyn.
What Wood has shown is his ability to knock down key shots, push the basketball up the floor and add whatever is needed. He’s sorta like a smaller version of Draymond Green. And he’s not going to shy away from big games. He’s a senior after all and knows this is it for his college career.
There hasn't been much talk about LIU-B, since no one expects MSU to be the first ever one seed to lose their first game, but Pete from TOC has a video up where he talks about Memphis (a potential second round opponent) and the idea that the Spartans need to play slow to be successful: