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12/13 Big Ten Preview: Michigan Hosts Central Arkansas

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Will a bad mid-major subvert another supposed thrashing?

Notre Dame v Michigan Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The main event and undercard are the same game tonight, as there’s only one Big Ten game on the slate on this incredibly brisk and blustery winter evening.

Big Ten Game of the Day:

-Central Arkansas at Michigan

  • Time/TV: 9:00pm/Big Ten Network
  • KenPom Spread: Michigan (-23)

We’ve had a few Tuesday night surprises this Fall, from Fort Wayne’s upending of Indiana to Ohio State’s unconscionable home loss to Florida Atlantic. So I suppose there’s always a chance that Michigan lays an egg tonight at home against the Central Arkansas Bears.

Actually, who am I kidding, the Wolverines should likely be capable of rolling tonight. They better, or a few hundred angry students will be unleashed on an unsuspecting Ann Arbor, and these kids are already wound up about the football season. On second thought, temperatures are expected to barely crack the teens tonight so maybe no one will show up.

I was fairly impressed by the way Michigan hung with a very good, though potentially still overrated, UCLA team on Saturday night. They took the Bruins shot for shot into the second half, keeping it close until Steve Alford’s balanced squad broke it open going away.

You wouldn’t know it by scanning the points they’ve given up this season (61 to Marquette, 54 to SMU, 50 to Texas) but Saturday night exposed the Wolverines lackluster defense. KenPom has them ranked #60 overall on Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, which is good for just 9th in the Big Ten, which is even worse than Nebraska’s adjusted defensive efficiency.

Offensively, it’s incredibly measured operation with seven players averaging between 7 and 14 points a game. The three-pointing shooting hasn’t been there as in year’s past, but when the shots are falling this team can score in bunches.

As I’m certain they will this evening.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Michigan

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Nicholas’ Season Record vs KenPom’s Spread: 12-10-1