The Big Ten has had some great conference battles this season, and tonight's game between the Indiana Hoosiers and the Michigan Wolverines should be another great test for both teams. Michigan started off the season a little slow, but ever since Big Ten play started the team has been playing extremely well, even without Caris LeVert. The same thing can be said for the Hoosiers, who also started off the season a little slow, but then they caught fire during conference play, even without James Blackmon Jr. for all of their conference games. The Hoosiers were one of the hottest teams in the Big Ten until the Wisconsin Badgers handed the Hoosiers their first conference loss on January 26th.
Both teams have been playing really good basketball as of late, even without key players on each team, which is why this matchup is so intriguing. Below is the preview for the game tonight.
Game of the Night: No. 22 Indiana Hoosiers vs. Michigan Wolverines (9:00 PM ET| ESPN)
All eyes will be on this big game tonight, especially since it is the only Big Ten game being played tonight. Both teams really need this win to boost their tournament resume. The Hoosiers might actually need this win a little more because they honestly have not gotten that statement win yet this season. Their two best wins this season are against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and against Wisconsin at home (only won by one point). The Hoosiers are also coming off a loss to the Badgers on Jan. 26, so they will be looking to get back on track against the Wolverines.
Now Michigan has been playing extremely well as of late and they are doing this all without their star Caris LeVert. The Wolverines have only two losses in conference play and those losses came against the Purdue Boilermakers and Iowa Hawkeyes. The Wolverines did prove that they can compete with some of the elite teams in the Big Ten, even without LeVert, after their win over the Maryland Terrapins. Players like Duncan Robinson and Derrick Walton Jr. have been awesome on the offensive end for the Wolverines during conference play and while LeVert has been out.
This game between the Wolverines and the Hoosiers is going to be a fight because both teams are going to try and add another good win to their resumes. Both teams are excellent three-point shooting teams, Michigan shoots 41.2 percent from distance as a team and the Indiana shoots an even more impressive 43.2 percent. It might come down to who can guard the three-point shot better because if a team gets hot from deep, then it could be hard for the other team to make a comeback. Watch for Duncan Robinson to try and carry the Wolverines with his three-point shooting, and if the Wolverines can get a little extra frontcourt offense from Mark Donnal or Rick Doyle, then the Wolverines will put themselves in a good place to win this game.
Thomas Bryant will be the keys for the Hoosiers. If Bryant can dominate in the post against a somewhat weak frontcourt, then the Hoosiers will be in good shape.