NCAA Tournament Midwest Region First Round: #7 Michigan Wolverines vs #10 Oklahoma State Cowboys

2017 NCAA Tournament
Midwest Region – First Round
#7 Michigan Wolverines  vs #10 Oklahoma State Cowboys
Friday, March 17, 2017, 12:15 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
Banker’s Life Fieldhouse – Indianapolis, Indiana
Opening Line: Michigan -1 1/2
Current Line: Michigan -2 1/2
Opening Total: 155 1/2
Current Total: 153 1/2
Opening Money Line: Michigan -130 / Oklahoma State +110
Current Money Line: Michigan -140 / Oklahoma State +120

Michigan is a slight favorite against Oklahoma State.

It is March and it might seem like college basketball is the biggest thing going. However, the Michigan Wolverines discovered there are far bigger things. On the way to the Big Ten Tournament in Washington last week, the team plane skidded off the runway on takeoff into a ditch. No one was injured, and the Wolverines arrived in DC just hours before their afternoon game against Illinois in the second round of the tournament. The Wolverines had to wear their practice uniforms as all three uniform sets could not be taken off the plane until the investigation was over. Michigan would go on to win four straight games in four days as the #8 seed to win the tournament.

Next up, the Wolverines take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Midwest Region First Round Friday in Indianapolis. The Wolverines are 24-11 and finished 10-8 in the Big Ten. Michigan is the #7 seed in the region. Oklahoma State is the #10 seed. The Cowboys are 20-12 and finished fifth in the Big 12 with a 9-9 record. The winner between Oklahoma State and Michigan will face either #2 seed Louisville or #15 Jacksonville State in the second round Sunday. Michigan leads the series 2-1 against Oklahoma State but they haven’t played since the 1997 NIT.

Oklahoma State is coached by Brad Underwood. The Cowboys have lost three straight games including 92-83 to Iowa State in the Big 12 quarterfinals last week. Oklahoma State is making their 28th trip to the NCAA Tournament including four times in the last five seasons.

Oklahoma State has a neutral site loss to North Carolina in the Maui Invitational, road losses to Maryland, Texas, Baylor, Kansas, and Iowa State, plus home losses to West Virginia, Iowa State, Kansas State, Baylor and Kansas. The Cowboys have neutral site wins over Connecticut and Georgetown in Maui, home wins over New Orleans, TCU, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech, plus road wins at Tulsa, Wichita State, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, West Virginia, TCU and Kansas State. OSU is 16-10-1 ATS and the total is 15-11-1 this season. The Cowboys were -1.5 against Iowa state and the total was 159.5.

Michigan is coached by John Beilein. The Wolverines won the Big Ten Tournament by beating Illinois, #1 seed Purdue in the quarters, #4 seed Minnesota in the semis and #3 seed Wisconsin 71-56 in the championship game. Michigan is making their 27th trip to the NCAA Tournament including seven times since 2009.

Michigan has road losses to South Carolina, UCLA, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Minnesota, and Northwestern, plus home losses to Virginia Tech, Maryland, Wisconsin and Ohio State. The Wolverines have home wins over Mt. St. Mary’s, Texas, Penn State, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Purdue. Michigan has neutral site wins over Marquette and SMU in New York City, plus road wins at Indiana, Rutgers, and Nebraska. Michigan is 16-16 ATS and the total is 19-12-1 this season. The Wolverines were 2 point underdogs against Wisconsin and the total was 127.

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Oklahoma State is outscoring teams 86-78 this season. The Cowboys are #8 in scoring nationally. OSU is shooting 46.4% from the field and 40.1% from three point range. The Cowboys are #15 in three point shooting nationally. Oklahoma State makes 78.7% of their free throws and are #4 nationally. Opponents are shooting 47% from the field and 35.8% from three point range. OSU averages 36.7 rebounds per game and opponents average 29.9 per game. The Cowboys average 14.7 assists, 13.2 turnovers, 7.8 steals and 3 blocks per game. Opponents average 13.5 assists, 15.3 turnovers, 6.5 steals and 4.3 blocks per game.

Jawun Evans  averages 19 points, 3.3 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.8 steals per game. Jeffrey Carroll averages 17.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. Phil Forte III averages 13.3 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Leyton Hammonds  averages 8 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. Five other players get time in the rotation. Tavarius Shine is out for the season with a back injury.

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Michigan is outscoring teams 75-66. The Wolverines are #38 in points allowed nationally. Michigan is shooting 48.3% from the field and 38.1% from 3 point range. The Wolverines  are #20 in field goal shooting nationally. Michigan makes 77.5% of their free throws and is #11 in that category nationally. Opponents are shooting 46.2% from the field and 37.8% from 3 point range. Michigan averages 29.4 rebounds per game and opponents average 29.2. The Wolverines  average 13.8 assists, 9.4 turnovers, 5.9 steals and 2.8 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.3 assists, 12.9 turnovers, 4.3 steals and 2.4 blocks per game.

Derrick Walton Jr.  averages 15.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Zak Irvin averages 12.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3 assists per game. Moritz Wagner averages 12 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game. D.J. Wilson averages 10.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.4 blocks per game. Three other players will get time in the rotation.

Oklahoma State is 7-1 ATS as an underdog, 5-1 after failing to cover, 9-2-1 in non-conference games, 4-1 after allowing more than 90 points and as an underdog of less than 6.5 points, 6-2 in neutral site games, 8-3 against teams with winning records, 10-4 overall, 1-4 as an NCAA Tournament underdog of less than 6.5 points, 1-4-1 against Big Ten teams, 0-4 in Friday games and in NCAA Tournament games,

Michigan is 6-0 ATS in neutral site games, 6-0-1 as an NCAA Tournament favorite, 5-0 overall, 4-0 after a win and a cover and against teams with winning records, 4-0-1 as an NCAA tournament favorite of 6.5 points or less, 7-1 as a favorite of less than 6.5 points, 9-2-1 as a neutral site favorite, 4-1 in Friday games and as a favorite, 8-2 against Big 12 teams, 8-3-1 in NCAA Tournament games and 2-5 in non-conference games.

The Cowboys opened Big 12 play with six straight losses, but have gone 9-4 since then. They started playing better defense but they are still not a great defensive team. The Wolverines can’t get into a track meet with the speedy Cowboys. I like Michigan to control the tempo and win a close game.

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