Nik Stauskas is red hot for the Wolverines with 18 points on just seven shots. The Wolverines are tied at the half because of this and the battle on the boards. While Michigan is losing the battle of rebounds, they are keeping it close enough where Kentucky can't dominate the paint. Don't be fooled by the 8 next to Kentucky on the scoreboard. Kentucky was a two point favorite coming into the game.
It took 13 minutes Kentucky 13 minutes to make a jump shot, but their ability to put back missed shots has kept this game close. Marcus Lee has only played one minute so far in this NCAA Tournament, but he logged big minutes in the first half. In those minutes, Lee posted ten points and four rebounds. Eight of those points came off put-back jams when Michigan failed to box out.
Once again, Michigan's big men have limited opposing starting bigs. Michigan's leading scorer is obviously Nik Stauskas, but he has been complimented by Zak Irvin's five points and Glenn Robinson III's four points and four rebounds. Kentucky has been led by Lee's ten points and four rebounds, but also James Young on the perimeter with his ten points.
Something to keep an eye on going into the second half is how both team's big men play. Kentucky was beating Michigan on the boards by just a few, but extended it to five by the half's end. If Michigan can't keep that battle close they'll have to get hot from three to win.