The Big Ten Tournament Champions take on the Big Sky Champions tomorrow night. Both teams are on a win streak. The Wolverines have won 9 straight, while the Grizzlies have won 6 consecutive.
Michigan is favored to win by 90%, though Montana may be a possible upset team. Though they are in the Big Sky, the Grizzles are no joke.
Montana has won 26 games this season, though lost 7. The team only lost 2 games in conference play. The Grizzles are fueled by guards Ahmaad Rorie and Michael Oguine, who combine for 33 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals per game. Big man Jamar Akoh also contributes heavy, with 13 points and 7 rebounds per game.
Meanwhile, Michigan is has won 28 games and lost 7 as well. The Wolverines are led by Moritz Wagner, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, and Charles Matthews. The three combine to get 39 points, 16 rebounds, and 6 assists.
The teams will go back and forth with each other in the first half. It will be a close game, and either program could be leading, though not by much, when heading to the locker room.
In the second half, I expect Michigan to pull away around the 15 minute mark, and for the rest of the contest, it will be all Wolverine.
For Montana, Rorie and Oguine will have big games. Both will end up scoring 20+ points in the loss.
Michigan’s big three will score regularly, though the entire team will play as a whole, so nobody will have to step up and have a giant game.
The Wolverines will end up winning by around 15 and will advance to the next round. I have Michigan going far in the tournament. The Wolverines will defeat the winner of Houston/San Diego State, and advance to the Sweet Sixteen.
Michigan will then likely be faced with the challenge of 2 seed North Carolina in the Sweet Sixteen, and that’s where I see the Wolverine’s Tournament venture end.
The contest between Michigan and Montana is at Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas. The game will be aired on TBS at 9:50 ET.