Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Tourney is Upon Us (No, Not That One...Yet)

Well, as we for the most part already knew, Michigan will play 10th seeded Iowa on Thursday as the 7th seed. The game will be at 2:30 ET (11:30 my time) and televised on ESPN2. Should they win, they would play 2nd seeded Illinois the very next day (Friday) at 6:30 ET on the Big Ten Network. After that, well, we'll get to that when/if they get there.

As a Michigan fan, you've got to have mixed feelings about this match-up. On one hand, Michigan dominated Iowa earlier this season at Crisler. On the other hand, the Wolverines lost at Carver-Hawkeye arena in OT just a week or so ago. The unknown here is that Iowa has been injury-plagued this entire season, but seems to be getting healthier each and every game. Cyrus Tate should be a go for this one, which means DeShawn will most certainly have to take his defense with him to Indianapolis. Also, someone will need to actually guard Jake Kelly this time. Since he has moved to the point, Iowa has been a totally different team. Here's to thinking/hoping CJ Lee can have a Gary Payton-esque (in his younger "The Glove" years) game against him.

If Michigan advances past the Hawkeyes, they would meet a slumping 2nd seeded Illinois team that the Wolverines split with during the regular season. Two things scare me about the Fighting Illini -- Frazier and Tisdale. Chester Frazier has been a thorn in Michigan's side for a couple years now, with his on the ball defense and don't-forget-about-me offense. Tisdale pisses me off because I keep seeing James Augustine and I thought he moved on last year. Yeah, Tisdale's only averaging 10 ppg, but he dropped 24 pts on Michigan last game.

Though Illinois presents some slight mismatches, I think it's safe to say that the bottom half of this BTT bracket was the best draw Michigan could have received. They have beaten every team they could potentially play until the championship game. Should they advance past Illinois, for example, they would get the winner of the Purdue and PSU/Indiana game. They split with Purdue and PSU and had the remarkable comeback at Indiana during the regular season.

Let's get past Iowa first, then we'll get more into depth with other scenarios later...

Go Blue from AZ!

No comments: