Mitch McGary (isportsweb)
In this installment of our Michigan Basketball season preview, we break down the Wolverines schedule and offer our game-by-game predictions. Previous installments in the Michigan Basketball preview series include; the roster breakdown and a general overview of the team.
The schedule is loaded with great match ups. In just their third game of the season, the Wolverines will travel to Big 12 country to play at Iowa State. Then they head out to Puerto Rico to play in a deep tournament. Michigan will play two Final Four favorites during the non-conference portion of their schedule when they head to Duke and host Arizona. Another common Final Four pre-season darling, Michigan State, appears on the Wolverines schedule twice.
This is what Joe and I are predicting for the Wolverines this year
Rob: 27-6 (14-4)
Joe: 27-6 (14-4)
2013-14 schedule and game-by-game predictions
UMass-LowellWinWinThe question here isn't, will Michigan beat the River Hawks? It's, will they score 100 points in this game?
South Carolina StateWinWinThe Bulldogs went 2-14 in the mighty MEAC last year and will get me-whacked by the Wolverines in this one. Look for Beilein to hand minutes out to just about everyone for the 2nd straight game, but also to start to define his rotation ever so slightly.
at Iowa StateWinWinWith leading scorers Will Clyburn and Tyrus McGee gone, and Melvin Ejim out with a knee injury, the Wolverines are catching the Cyclones at a good time. Michigan should grab a fairly convincing win in their first road game of the year.
Long Beach StateWinWinMichigan opens the Puerto Rick Tip-off against Long Beach State. This is a game they should win by 15-20 points.
VCU or FSULossWinMichigan will play the winner of the VCU vs Florida State game. If they play VCU, like I think they will, it will be the second time in their last 10 games that the Wolverines have faced the Rams. As you probably remember, they thrashed VCU in the NCAA Tournament.
TBDWinWinJoe thinks Michigan will be playing in a consolation game here. I have the Wolverines playing in, and winning, the championship.
Coppin StateWinWinThe Eagles were 8-24 last year and they're picked to finish in the middle of MEAC pack this year. The Eagles will hoist up a lot of three balls and will likely get overrun by the Wolverines in this one. Michigan wins easy with a big one looming.
at DukeLossLossDuke on the road is a tough draw in the Big 10/ACC Challenge. As good as Michigan is, I don't see a win here. A dominant performance from McGary will be needed.
Houston BaptistWinWinI'm sure the Huskies will enjoy their trip to Ann Arbor, until they look at the scoreboard when the game goes final. Thanks for padding the win column.
ArizonaWinWinHopefully Mitch McGary will be back for this one, because Michigan will need him. The game is a noon tipoff, which favors Michigan greatly because of the time zone factor. It should be a thriller, but the Wolverines should secure a marquee win here.
StanfordWinWinMichigan dismantled West Virginia in the Barclays Center last year by shooting 56% from the field. Expect another dominant performance here.
Holy CrossWinWinThe final pre-Big Ten tune up should be a walk in the park for Michigan.
at MinnesotaWinWinMichigan will get their first look at the Richard Pitino coached Gophers in their Big Ten opener. The Barn is a tough place to play, but the Wolverines have fared well there recently and I think they get a nice road victory to open conference play.
NorthwesternWinWinChris Collins replaces Bill Carmody in Evanston with hopes of finally pushing the 'cats to an NCAA tournament berth. He won't get any help on this night as Michigan rolls.
at NebraskaWinWinThe Cornhuskers should be a little bit better this year, but there's no way they're winning at Crisler. Michigan rolls.
Penn StateWinWinPenn State gave Michigan fits last year and now get star point guard Tim Frazier back. Frazier might have a field day but Michigan's superior length will ultimately undo the Nittany Lions.
at WisconsinWinWinMichigan has lost some heart-breakers to Bo Ryan's crew the last few years and the Kohl Center is tough. Something tells me that Mitch McGary owns the night and some clutch triples from Spike Albrecht will seal a huge road win.
IowaWinWinIowa is everyone's sleeper pick in this year's Big Ten. Their roster is deeper and has more talent than any in recent memory and could give Michigan trouble, but the Wolverines will hold up on their home court.
at Michigan StateLossLossMichigan State crushed John Beilein's team at the Breslin Center last year. They might not win by 20+ again, but this won't be Michigan's night to shine.
PurdueWinWinComing off a likely loss at MSU, Michigan will punish the Boilers at cruise to a victory at home.
at IndianaWin LossIndiana isn't going to be as dominant as they were last year, but Michigan never wins at Assembly Hall.
NebraskaWinWinTim Miles has the 'huskers b'ball program moving in the right direction, but the talent is not nearly enough to match Michigan's. The Wolverines cruise in this one.
at IowaLossLossThis will be a big one for the Hawkeyes and it should be a wild atmosphere. Can the Wolverines secure a road victory here?
at Ohio StateLossLossThe only regular season match-up between these two teams comes in Columbus, a noted house of horrors for Michigan. Despite that, I think Michigan gets this win in the midst of the toughest portion of their schedule they'll see until late March.
WisconsinLossWinAfter a huge road win in Columbus, Michigan gets caught looking ahead to the showdown against the Spartans.
Michigan StateWinWinThis is going to be a heavyweight bout between two Final Four caliber teams. Michigan should get the win in front of a packed house at Crisler Center.
at PurdueWinWinComing on the heels of an emotional game agains the Spartans, this is going to be a tricky game for the Wolverines. Their superior talent should wear down a scrappy Purdue squad.
MinnesotaWinWinMichigan should be clicking on all cylinders by this point in the season. Chalk up another "W".
at IllinoisWinWinWinning on the road in the Big Ten is never easy. Michigan will be challenged here, but at this point in the season, they will be rolling.
IndianaWinWinSo, a regular-season ending game at home against Indiana. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Well, this time J-Mo's tip-in won't roll off in agonizing fashion at the buzzer because he'll be two-hand stuffing it through the rim to cap off a dynamic regular season.
Big Ten Tourney2-12-1This tournament has never been kind to Michigan. I predict they make a deeper run this year but peter out in the semis.
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Here is Michigan’s actual record from the past few seasons with our preseason predictions below. It should be noted that our predictions do not include the NCAA Tournament. We forecast Michigan’s record through the Big Ten Tournament.
Michigan’s record as they headed into the NCAA Tournament 26-7 (12-6)
Rob: 28-6 (13-5)
Joe: 25-8 (11-7)
Here is the link to the game-by-game breakdown for those predictions: 2012-13
Michigan’s record as they headed into the NCAA Tournament: 24-9 (13-5)
Rob: 29-5 (15-3)
Joe: 26-8 (14-4)
Here is the link to the game-by-game breakdown for those predictions: 2011-12
Michigan’s record as they headed into the NCAA Tournamentl: 20-13 (9-10)
Rob: 18-15 (7-11)
Joe: 17-16 (7-11)
Here is the link to the game-by-game breakdown for those predictions: 2010-11
Michigan Basketball: A season preview
For more Michigan Basketball news, recruiting updates and opinion, visit our Michigan Basketball page. You can follow us on twitter @isportsRob and @isportsJoe
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