Midwest Region Second Round Betting Preview: #15 Wofford Terriers vs #2 Michigan Wolverines

2014 NCAA Tournament
Midwest Region – Second Round

Bradley Center – Milwaukee, Wiconsin
#15 Wofford Terriers vs #2 Michigan Wolverines
Thursday, March 20, 2014, 7:10 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
Opening Line: Michigan -15 1/2
Current Line: Michigan -16
Opening Total: 125 1/2
Current Total: 127 1/2
Opening Money Line: Michigan -1500 / Wofford +1000
Current Money Line: Michigan -3000 / Wofford +1500 

Michigan is a heavy favorite against Wofford Thursday in the Midwest region second round in Milwaukee.
Michigan is a heavy favorite against Wofford Thursday in the Midwest region second round in Milwaukee.

The 25-8 Michigan Wolverines were in consideration for one of the four #1 seeds in the NCAA tournament but a 69-55 loss to rival Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship game ended those dreams. The Wolverines will have to settle for the #2 seed in the Midwest region. Michigan opens up play against #15 seed Wofford Thursday in Milwaukee. The winner will face either #7 Texas or #10 Arizona State in the third round Saturday. Michigan won the only previous meeting against Wofford in 1996.

Wofford is 20-12 this season. The Terriers tied for third in the Southern Conference at 11-5, 4 games behind regular season champion Davidson. Wofford has gone 14-2 in their last 16 games, and has won 3 straight games. Wofford beat Western Carolina 56-53 in the Southern Conference Championship game after Western Carolina had upset Davidson in the semifinals. Wofford is making their third appearance in the NCAA Tournament, and all have been since 2010. The Terriers have never won a tournament game.

Michigan won the Big Ten title outright for the first time in 28 seasons with a 15-3 record. The loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship game snapped a 7 game winning streak for the Wolverines. Michigan is making their fourth straight trip to the Tournament. The Wolverines lost to Louisville in the national championship game last season.

Wofford is coached by Mike Young. The Terriers have losses at Georgia, at Iona, at Minnesota, at High Point, William & Mary, at Saint Louis, at VCU, Davidson twice, Chattanooga twice, and UNC-Greensboro. Wofford has key wins at Winthrop, Western Carolina twice, and Elon. The Terriers are 15-9-1 ATS and the total is 13-10 this season.

Wofford is outscoring teams 68-62 this season. The Terriers are 323 nationally in points allowed. Wofford is shooting 45.1% from the field and 37.1% from 3 point range. The Terriers are #285 out of 351 teams nationally in free throw shooting at 66.3% from the line. Wofford opponents are shooting 44.2% from the field and 31.7% from 3 point range. The Terriers average 33.2 rebounds per game and opponents average 29.1. Wofford averages 12.9 assists, 10.7 turnovers, 6.3 steals and 1.7 blocks per game. Opponents averages 9.7 assists, 12.9 turnovers, 5.5 steals and 3.4 blocks per game.

Guard Karl Cochran averages 15.7 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.7 steals per game. Guard Spencer Collins averages 12.8 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. Forward Lee Skinner averages 11.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 2.1 assists. Guard Eric Garcia averages 7.4 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists. Justin Gordon, Jaylen Allen, C.J. Neumann, and Indiana Fathfull will also get significant minutes in the rotation. Guard Aerris Smith is out for the season with a knee injury suffered in the SoCon tournament.

Michigan is coached by John Beilein. The Wolverines have losses at Iowa State, to Charlotte in a tournament in Puerto Rico, at Duke, at Arizona, at Indiana, at Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan State. The Wolverines have key wins over Long Beach State and Florida State in Puerto Rico, Stanford in Brooklyn, Minnesota twice, Northwestern, Nebraska twice, Penn State, at Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan State twice, Purdue twice,  Ohio State twice, at Illinois and Indiana. Michigan is 16-14-1 ATS and the total is 18-12-1 this season.

Michigan is outscoring teams 74-65 this season. The Wolverines are shooting 47.6% from the field and 39.4% from 3 point range. The Wolverines are #28 in field goal percentage and #18 in three point shooting. Michigan is #9 in free throw shooting at 76.1% from the line. Wolverine opponents are shooting. 44.5% from the field and 31.9% from 3 point range. Michigan averages 31.8 rebounds per game and allow 29.2 from opponents. Michigan is #303 out of 351 teams nationally in rebounding. The Wolverines average 14.2 assists, 9.4 turnovers, 5.1 steals and 2.5 block per game. Opponents average 11.9 assists, 11 turnovers, 5 steals and 2.5 blocks per game.

Guard Nik Stauskas averages 17.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists. Forward Glenn Robinson III averages 13 points, 4.3 points, 1.2 assists, and 1 steal per game. Guard Caris  LeVert averages 13.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Forward Mitch McGary averages 9.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.5 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. He is out indefinitely with a back injury. Guard Derrick Walton, Jr. averages 8.1 points, 3 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. Zak Irvin, Jordan Morgan, Jon Horford, and Spike Albrecht will also get plenty of time in the rotation. Little used guard Cole McConnell is questionable with a foot injury.

Wofford is 4-0 ATS in Thursday games, 9-2-1 after a straight up win, 8-2 after a cover, 11-3-1 in neutral site games, 15-5-1 overall, 5-2-1 against teams with winning records, and 2-6 in non-conference games.

Michigan is 5-1 ATS after failing to cover, and in NCAA tournament, 37-15-1 after a straight up loss, 35-15-1 in Thursday games, and 1-4-1 in neutral site games.

Wofford plays great defense, but they struggle to score. To have any chance, the Terriers must keep this game in the low 60’s or even the 50’s. If Michigan scores over 70, I think Wofford will get blown out in this game.

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