Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Breaking Down Super Tuesday
Michigan vs. Michigan State 7 pm ESPN If you look at this matchup, it's way too easy to say that in order to win, Michigan needs to knock down a considerable amount of 3 pointers. If you dig deeper, it's clear that Manny Harris has to take control of this team and limit their mental mistakes. They need to get back on transition defense and eliminate easy, quick buckets for the Spartans. Their defense needs to shut down Kalin Lucas's driving lanes a contain his ability to take control of the game. Beilein needs to drill his guys to contest shots, and hope that MSU has another abysmal shooting night.
When it comes right down to it, though, State has too many ways to win this game. State can push it up the court with Lucas or Korie Lucious. Michigan will look to pull a Minnesota by clogging the middle and forcing MSU to the perimeter. If U of M can manage that, it would be nice if Chris Allen and company could knock down 3s, but not essential, because Sparty can run their offense through their forwards. One 6'8 DeShawn Sims and four guards are not going to cause nearly the disruption that Damian Johnson and Ralph Sampson III did. The Wolverines can't play big with State. Derrick Nix will likely see some minutes, but I don't see him staying fresh enough to keep up against a smaller line up. But if Draymond Green, Delvon Roe and Raymar Morgan play like they're capable, it could get ugly.
So, while it is way too easy, it also rings way too true. To win this game, Michigan must hit a considerable number of 3 pointers.
Kentucky at South Carolina 9 pm ESPN A week back, or so, I picked this as Kentucky's first loss. A little less confident about the pick after Kentucky throtled Arkansas on Saturday, but the initial points are still valid. Kentucky is young, haven't been tested on the road much, and Devan Downey is sweet. If you're looking for a nice long explanation as to why South Carolina could win, you're not going to get one. Kentucky should win this game. I'm just saying, on the road, Devan Downey, maybe not.