#7 Michigan vs #23 Minnesota ncaab

#7 Michigan vs #23 Minnesota | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on January 15, 2021

Seventh-ranked Michigan appeared to show it’s the best team in the Big Ten with a shocking blowout of ranked Wisconsin earlier this week, but the Wolverines could be on upset alert Saturday at No. 23 Minnesota – the Gophers have a history of beating visiting ranked opponents. Michigan will be favored on the NCAAB odds.

How to Bet Michigan at Minnesota NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

Last Meeting

These teams met on Jan. 6 in Ann Arbor and the Wolverines cruised 82-57. The Wolverines had a 19-point edge in the second half against the Golden Gophers after leading by just six points after a sloppy first half. Wolverines freshman star Hunter Dickinson led the way before and after halftime, making 12 of 15 shots and grabbing eight rebounds.  Minnesota made just 32% of their shots, and only Marcus Carr scored in double figures. Carr, though, was 5 of 16 from the field and was held to 14 points.

“Michigan had a lot to do with it.” Gophers coach Richard Pitino said. “They were very, very good defensively. They were very physical defensively. They were taking us out of our stuff.”

Why Bet on Michigan? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Wolverines (11-0) were incredibly impressive Tuesday in a 77-54 destruction of No. 9 Wisconsin. UM beat its third ranked opponent in a row and ended the first half on a 14-0 run to end the first half while putting together a 27-3 run in the second half to blow out the Badgers.

Four of the U-M starters ended the night in double figures with Franz Wagner finishing with his third career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while also adding four steals and one block. Mike Smith led the Wolverines with 16 points and dished out a team-best six assists, while Isaiah Livers added 13 points — nine of which came off three-pointers — six rebounds, three assists and three blocks.

Superstar freshman Hunter Dickinson continued his double-digit streak with 12 points and added six rebounds and three blocks. Michigan shot 51.6 percent (32-for-62) from the field and 56.3 percent from beyond the arc with nine makes on 16 attempts. U-M dominated on the glass, outrebounding Wisconsin, 42-34, and scored 15 points off Badger turnovers, while scoring 38 points in the paint.

Michigan has become the first team in college basketball history to beat three straight ranked opponents by at least 19 points. More impressive is the fact the winning margins don’t tell the complete story of how dominant Michigan was against Northwestern, Minnesota and Wisconsin. In each game, the Wolverines built leads of 29, 37 and 40 points.

“It says a lot about their maturity and understanding that every possession counts and matters,” Michigan Juwan Howard said of his players. “There are going to be highs, going to be some lows but it never gets the point where it’s too high where you can sit back and feel it’s going to be easy ballgames.”

The Wolverines, who are currently ranked 4th according to the KenPom rankings, join Baylor as the only team to rank in the top 10 in adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency.

Why Bet on Minnesota? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Gophers (10-4) lost for the third  time in four games Sunday at No. 5 Iowa, 86-71. The Hawkeyes began the second half on a 16-4 run to quickly push the lead to 55-41 at the first media timeout. By the under-12:00 media timeout, Iowa had stretched the lead to 61-45, as Minnesota had connected on just 2-of-15 second-half field goals over the first eight minutes. It was pretty much over then. Iowa had 27 assists on 31 field goals overall.

Coach Richard Pitino utilized a starting lineup of redshirt senior forward Brandon Johnson (ninth start at Minnesota, 100th career start), junior center Liam Robbins (14th start at Minnesota, 50th career start), redshirt junior guard Marcus Carr (14th start this season, 45th start at Minnesota, 72nd career start), junior guard Gabe Kalscheur (14th start this season, 81st career start), and junior guard Both Gach (14th start at Minnesota, 53rd career start). That starting five is 6-3 this season.

Pitino’s eighth-year record at Minnesota is 137-112 and his nine-year career mark is 155-126. He is 6-7 all-time versus the Hawkeyes.

Carr, who entered the game ranked third in the Big Ten (18th nationally) with an average of 21.5 ppg, finished with 13 points as one of four Minnesota players to reach double-figures. Carr also had four rebounds four assists and two steals in a team-high 34 minutes.

He was just 5-of-19 shooting, including 3-of-11 from beyond the arc. Carr has scored in double-figures 38 times in his collegiate career, including 16 straight and 23 of his past 24 games with the Gophers. He has six games this season with 20 or more points, and three of those were 30-point games.

Minnesota will be the first opponent to play Michigan twice this season, and within a span of 10 days. This is the same opponent that had a 37-point lead on the Gophers in Ann Arbor earlier this month, the largest deficit for any Pitino team since 2016.

“I’m not a big revenge guy, pay-you-back guy,” Pitino said. “I’m all about let’s get back to work and see if we can beat a terrific team in Michigan. Our guys know what we’re trying to get.”

Expert Prediction
  • Minnesota 76, Michigan 73

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