Big Ten Rivals Collide in Ann Arbor: Ohio St Buckeyes at Michigan Wolverines

#6 Ohio St Buckeyes at #19 Michigan Wolverines
Crisler Center – Ann Arbor, Michigan
Saturday, February 18, 2012, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Ohio St -5
Current Line: Ohio St -5
Opening Total: 126
Current Total: 125
Opening Money Line: Ohio St -215 / Michigan +185
Current Money Line: Ohio St -220 / Michigan +180

Tim Hardaway, Jr. and the Michigan Wolverines host arch-rival Ohio St Saturday night. in a crucial Big Ten match-up.

Ohio St and Michigan will always be primarily a football rivalry but the basketball teams are pretty good as well. The 22-4 Ohio St Buckeyes are 10-3 in the Big Ten, tied with Michigan St for first place in the conference. The Buckeyes won at Minnesota 78-68 Tuesday night. Michigan is 19-7 overall and 9-4 in conference, a game behind the leaders. The Wolverines have won 2 games in a row including 70-61 at home versus Illinois last Sunday. Ohio St leads the overall series against Michigan 91-71, but the Wolverines are 52-26 in Ann Arbor. Ohio St has beaten Michigan six straight times and has won 15 of the last 17 meetings. Ohio St won in Columbus 64-49 last month.

Ohio St is coached by Thad Matta. The Buckeyes have losses to Kansas, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan St. Ohio St has wins over Wright St, Florida, Valparaiso, Duke, South Carolina, Miami-OH, Northwestern, Nebraska twice, Iowa, Indiana, Penn St, Wisconsin, and Purdue.

Michigan is coached John Beilein. The Wolverines have losses to Duke, Virginia, Indiana, Iowa, Arkansas, and Michigan St. Michigan has wins over Memphis, UCLA, Iowa St, Oakland, Bradley, Penn St, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Michigan St, Purdue, Indiana, and Nebraska.

Ohio St is outscoring opponents 76-57 this season. Ohio St is 8th in points allowed in the country. The Buckeyes are shooting 48.1% from the field including 33.2% from 3 point range. OSU is #22 in field goal percentage. Ohio St makes 70.5% of their free throws. The Buckeyes average 36.7 rebounds a game, and has a rebounding margin of +7. Ohio St averages 15.4 assists, 11.5 turnovers, 7.7 steals, and 2.9 blocks a game. Buckeye opponents are shooting 40% from the field, including 31.3% from 3 point range. Ohio St is forcing 16.8 turnovers a game, and opponents only average 9.2 assists a game.

Ohio St forward Jared Sullinger averages 17.6 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 1.5 steals a game. He leads the Buckeyes in scoring, rebounding and blocks, but he only averages 0.8 a game. Guard William Buford averages 15.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.1 assists a game. He is shooting 37.4% from 3 point range. Forward Deshaun Thomas averages 14.2 points and 4.3 rebounds a game. Thomas makes 31.3% of his 3 point shots. Point guard Aaron Craft averages 8.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 2.3 steals a game. He leads the team in  steals and assists, and is shooting 34.3% from 3 point range.

Michigan is outscoring opponents 67-61 this season. The Wolverines are shooting 46.1% from the field, including 35.2% from 3 point range. Michigan makes 71.7% of their free throws. The Wolverines average 31.2 rebounds a game and has a rebounding margin of -0.2. Michigan averages 13.4 assists, 10.8 turnovers, 5.2 steals, and 2 blocks a game. Wolverine opponents are shooting 42.3% from the field, and 34.8% from 3 point range. Michigan forces 12.9 turnovers a game.

Michigan guard Tim Hardaway, Jr. averages 14.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists a game. Trey Burke averages 14 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists to lead the team, and 0.9 steals a game to tie for the team lead. He makes 35.6% of his three point attempts. Zack Novak averages 9.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2 assists, and shoots 43.3% from 3 point range. Evan Smotrycz averages 8.2 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, and 0.9 steals a game. He is tied for the team lead in steals, and is shooting 42.1% from 3 point range. Jordan Morgan averages 5.3 rebounds a game to lead the Wolverines. Stu Douglass averages 2.2 assists and 0.9 steals a game. Both Morgan and Douglas also contribute to the scoring. Forward Jon Horford leads the team in blocks with 1  game, but he is questionable with a foot injury after missing the last 17 games. No other Wolverine averages more than 0.5 blocks a game. Eso Akunne is also out indefinitely with a foot injury. Carlton Brundidge is probable with an illness.

Michigan is 13-9-1 ATS and the total is 11-11-1 this season. Ohio St is 13-8 ATS this season and the total is 10-9-2 this season. Michigan is 6-1 ATS in the last 7 against Ohio St. Five of the last 7 meetings in Ann Arbor have gone over the total. The Buckeyes are 7-1 ATS as a road favorite of 6.5 points or less, 4-1 after a cover, in road games, as a road favorite, and in road games against teams with winning home records, 6-2 as a favorite, overall, and in Big ten games, 5-2 against teams with winning records, and as a favorite of 6.5 points or less, and 3-7 in Saturday games. The Wolverines are 5-0 ATS as a home underdog of 6.5 points or less, 7-1-1 in Saturday games, 13-3 as a home underdog, 4-1 at home against teams with winning road records, 20-6 in Big Ten games, 15-5-1 as an underdog of 6.5 points or less, 20-7 at home, 34-16-1 as an underdog, 36-17-1 overall, 40-19-1 against teams with winning records, 1-3-1 after a cover, and 1-4-1 after a straight up win.

Ohio St has dominated their rival recently including earlier this season. I think it will be a lot closer this time, but Ohio St simply has too much for the Wolverines.

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