Game 8: Duke at Michigan Preview – The Rematch

Dylan Burkhardt

Who: Duke at Michigan
Where: Crisler Arena
When: 3:30 PM ET
Line: Duke by 9.5
Preview: Stat Sheet
Radio: MGoBlue, WWJ-AM (950), WTKA-AM (1050)

Bring out the Maize jerseys, hop in line or scalp a ticket — excitement’s back at Crisler Arena. This game has been sold out for weeks and should be electric from the start. Chances of a Michigan win are clearly low (10 point home underdogs), but as fans this is what we live for: a chance to knock off the giant. The analytical side of us knows that we are playing a Duke team chock-full of All Americans and that we are outmatched at just about every position. But inside, for some inexplicable reason, our inner-fan tells us we might have a shot.

Michigan lost the first contest 71-56 but gets another shot at the Blue Devils in the friendly confines of Crisler Arena today. Michigan couldn’t buy a bucket last game as they shot a frigid 35.2%. Duke got to the line at a higher rate and pulled down more offensive rebounds. The one thing Michigan did relatively well in the last match-up was hold onto the ball, they had only 12 turnovers.

Michigan only got 21 points from everyone not named Manny Harris or DeShawn Sims in the first match up. So as will be the case in just about every game, Michigan needs someone else to step up. Zack Novak has been playing the best out of the role players lately so look for him. I’d love to see Stu Douglass get hot as well.

In the end though Michigan needs both of their stars, Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims, to play the best games of their careers. Without an A+ effort from Manny and DeShawn it’s hard to calculate a path to victory. For Manny I think the key is making a respectable percentage of his threes, getting to the line and not turning it over. On the other hand for DeShawn he needs to rebound well and get some points in the paint.

Duke fared very well against the 1-3-1 in the first meeting, even working on one night of preparation, which is certainly worrisome. However they did turn it over 25.8% of their possessions compared to their season average of 20.9%. The two keys for Michigan on defense are to force turnovers and not allow Duke to dominate the offensive glass.

Purdue proved that is absolutely critical to get off to a good start against Duke. A couple steals, breakaway dunks, and turnovers can absolutely kill a crowd and Duke knows this:

“For us, we knew coming on the road, it’s huge to get off to huge starts, and that’s something we were really focused on,” Scheyer said.

Michigan has to stay composed and play this game in 4 minute intervals while not getting too emotional either way. This is our first big home game so I worry that they might come out a little too amped up early on.

Expected Visitors:

  • Trey Zeigler (2010 SG/SF) – Sounds like Trey can’t make it in (facebook status being circulated around – see comments).
  • Tim Hardaway Jr. (2010 SG)
  • Allen Payne (2010 SF)
  • Brandan Kearney (2011 PG)
  • Percy Gibson (2011 PF)
  • Jordan Morgan (2009 PF/C commit)
  • And possibly several others, here’s a look at instate prospects from the the Detroit News.

What They’re Saying:

If you are going to Crisler today get there early and be loud from start to finish because this team needs and deserves every bit of support they get. Let’s hear your predictions in the comments and of course during the game as well.