Ohio Bobcats vs Michigan Wolverines in Midwest Region Second Round

2012 NCAA Tournament Midwest Region Second Round
#13 Ohio Bobcats vs #4 Michigan Wolverines
Bridgestone Arena – Nashville,  Tennessee

Friday, March 16, 2012, 7:20 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
Opening Line: Michigan -7
Current Line: Michigan -5 1/2
Opening Total: 125 1/2
Current Total: 125 1/2
Opening Money Line: Michigan -265 / Ohio +225
Current Money Line: Michigan -245 / Ohio +205

The Michigan Wolverines will take on the Ohio Bobcats in the Midwest region Second round Friday in Nashville. The Wolverines are 5.5 point favorites

The 27-7 Ohio Bobcats won the MAC Championship game 64-63 against Akron last Saturday. The Bobcats are coached by John Groce, and have won 8 of their last 9 games and 4 in a row. The Bobcats made the NCAA tournament last in 2010 when they upset Georgetown in the first round as a 14 seed.

The Bobcats will take on #4 seed Michigan in the Midwest Region second round Friday in Nashville. The winner will play either Temple or South Florida in the third round. The Wolverines are 24-9 and tied with Michigan St and Ohio St for the Big Ten regular season title. The Wolverines lost 77-55 to Ohio St in the Big Ten semifinals to snap a 3 game winning streak for Michigan. Michigan is coached by John Beilein.The Wolverines are making their third trip to the tournament in the last 4 seasons. Michigan hasn’t advanced past the second round of the tournament since 1994.

Despite the fact that the Michigan and Ohio campuses are less than 300 miles apart, the schools have only played 3 times previously. Michigan leads the series 3-0, but they haven’t played since 1971.

Ohio has losses to Louisville, Robert Morris, Bowling Green, Akron, Toledo, Eastern Michigan, and Kent St. The Bobcats have wins over Lamar, Arkansas St, Marshall, Oakland, Portland, Wright St, Northern Iowa, Buffalo 3 times, Kent St, Miami-Ohio twice, Western Michigan, Ball St, Northern Illinois,  Central Michigan, Bowling Green, UNC-Asheville, Akron twice, and Toledo.

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

Ohio is outscoring opponents 71-62 this season. The Bobcats are shooting 42.9% from the field and 33.8% from 3 point range. Ohio makes 68.1% of their free throws. The Bobcats average 34.8 rebounds a game with a rebounding margin of +0.2. Ohio averages 13.2 assists, 13.2 turnovers, 9.4 steals, and 2.9 blocks a game. Bobcat opponents are shooting 41.2% from the field and 29.6% from 3 point range. Ohio is #14 in the country in 3 point defense.  The Bobcats force 17.7 turnovers a game on defense.

Ohio guard D.J. Cooper averages 14.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 2.4 steals a game. Cooper leads the Bobcats in scoring, assists, and steals. Walter Offutt averages 11.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.5 steals a game. He makes 35.2% of his three point attempts. Reggie Keely averages 9.2 points, and 5.1 rebounds a game to tie for the team lead. Ivo Baltic averages 9 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.4 assists a game. Nick Kellogg averages 8.9 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.1 steals a game. Forward TyQuane Goard is academically ineligible, and forward Kenny Belton is out indefinitely with an illness.

Michigan is outscoring opponents 67-61 this season. The Wolverines are shooting 45.6% from the field, including 35.2% from 3 point range. Michigan makes 72% of their free throws. The Wolverines average 30.8 rebounds a game and has a rebounding margin of -1. Michigan averages 12.7 assists, 10.9 turnovers, 5 steals, and 2.2 blocks a game. Wolverine opponents are shooting 42.6% from the field, and 34.4% from 3 point range. Michigan forces 12.6 turnovers a game.

Michigan guard Trey Burke averages 14.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.6 assists to lead the team, and 0.9 steals a game to also led the team. He makes 35.5% of his three point attempts. Guard Tim Hardaway, Jr. averages 14.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.1 assists a game.  Zack Novak averages 9.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.8 assists, and shoots 41.6% from 3 point range. Stu Douglass averages 7.6 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.3 assists a game. Evan Smotrycz averages 7.5 points and 4.8 rebounds a game. He is shooting 42.2% from 3 point range. Jordan Morgan averages 5.5 rebounds a game to lead the Wolverines. Forward Jon Horford leads the team in blocks with 1  game, but he is out with a foot injury after missing the last 24 games. No other Wolverine averages more than 0.4 blocks a game. Eso Akunne is also out indefinitely with a foot injury.

Michigan is 17-12-1 ATS and the total is 16-13-1 this season. Ohio is 13-13 ATS and the total is 11-15 this season. The Bobcats are 7-0 ATS in non-conference games, 12-3-1 as an underdog of 6.5 points or less, 18-7-1 as an underdog, 2-6 after failing to cover, 0-4 after a straight up win, against teams with winning records, overall, in neutral site games, and against Big Ten teams. The Wolverines are 5-1 ATS in Friday games, 10-2 after failing to cover, 3-1-1 in non-conference games, 25-10-1 against teams with winning records, 31-13-1 overall, 7-3 in neutral site games, 36-16 after a straight up loss, 2-5 as a neutral site favorite, and after a straight up loss by 20 points or more.

Ohio is slightly better on offense than Michigan, but otherwise these two team are very similar. I think Michigan wins a close game but they need to avoid turning the ball over, as Ohio forces almost 18 a game.

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