Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 3/20/13
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Michigan point guard Trey Burke isn't just the team's best player; he's also the Big Ten player of the year and a finalist for the John Wooden Award, presented to the national player of the year. South Dakota State point guard Nate Wolters has almost identical credentials, albeit in a lesser conference, the Summit League. As a result, the matchup between Burke and Wolters is getting a lot of attention heading into Thursday's NCAA tournament game between the fourth-seeded Wolverines and 13th-seeded Jackrabbits (7:15 p.m. EDT tip-off). And their coaches know it. Burke and Wolters will both be running the offense on one end of the floor and guarding one of the nation's best players on the other end. "We're going to put Nate on Trey because Nate is a tremendous defender," Jackrabbits coach Scott Nagy said. "We're also going to rely on him to play 40 minutes and handle the basketball. "He's a huge reason that this program is here right now, and we're going to let him do what he does." Michigan coach John Beilein thinks Burke and Wolters might cancel each other out to some extent. "These are two teams with terrific point guards, and when you get the ball into those two young men's hands, anything can happen," Beilein said. "Both of them are very good at getting their teammates open, and this game will probably come down to those guys making their shots." Wolters has put up incredible numbers -- scoring a combined 89 points in back-to-back games, including 53 in a win over Indiana UniversityPurdue University Fort Wayne -- and he's done it outside the weak competition of the Summit League. He scored 28 in an upset victory at New Mexico and had 30 in a close loss at Alabama. "I'm trying not to focus on just one matchup, but I obviously know he's a really good player," Burke said. "I think 30 percent of their offense runs through him, and it is my job to slow him down." Burke hasn't had the same numbers, but that hasn't stopped him from being recognized as the best player in the country's best conference. He's already won several All-America and player-of-the-year awards and is the favorite for the Wooden Award. "He's probably the national player of the year," Wolters agreed. "I've watched him multiple times on TV this year, and he's a great player. I try to learn things from him, because he's really good on the pick-and-roll and he's a good shooter. "He's going to be tough to guard." SUPPORTING CAST This is where Michigan has a huge advantage. The Wolverines boast future NBA players such as Glenn Robinson III and Tim Hardaway Jr., along with a 3-point specialist in Nik Stauskas and college basketball's most excitable player in Mitch McGary. The Jackrabbits, on the other hand, have surrounded Wolters with good Summit League players. Instead of leaving early for the NBA, players such as Jordan Dykstra and Tony Fiegen will play four years at South Dakota State before playing in Europe or getting normal post-college jobs. On the court, that translates to more speed and size for Michigan. The Wolverines will be nearly unstoppable in transition, so South Dakota State will need to hit a ton of outside shots to have a chance.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Josh Norman seems ready to jump ship in Washington

Report: Bengals considered playing John Ross at CB

Carson Wentz out for season with torn ACL

Roger Goodell: Colin Kaepernick not being blackballed by NFL

Stanton said to be ‘very happy’ over trade to Yankees

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Victor Oladipo ‘sick and tired’ of Paul George comparisons

NFLPA to investigate Tom Savage concussion

Josh Gordon says Packers CB ‘couldn’t hold my jock strap’

Orioles GM hints team will not trade Manny Machado

NFL signs $500 million deal with Verizon to stream games

Top takeaways from Sunday's Week 14 action

The 'Josh Gordon is back and the NFL will have to deal with it!' quiz

The best individual performance from every bowl all time

Sports & Politics Intersect: When Olympic gold corrupts

The naughty and nice athletes list for 2017

Dissecting the road to the NFL postseason

The 'And the winner is...' quiz

The NFC playoffs will be loaded from top to bottom

The 14 most intriguing NFL draft prospects playing in 2017 bowl games

Why Antonio Brown deserves to be in MVP discussion

Is this when Zach Werenski and the Blue Jackets really get their season going?

Joel Embiid and displacing fundamental truths

The 'What's old is new again (but also still old)' quiz

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The 'Josh Gordon is back and the NFL will have to deal with it!' quiz

The best individual performance from every bowl all time

NFL Week 14 injury report

Sports & Politics Intersect: When Olympic gold corrupts

The best games of 2017

The naughty and nice athletes list for 2017

The 'And the winner is...' quiz

NHL Weekender: Caps gain ground, Kings ready to rule?

Dissecting the road to the NFL postseason

The 'What's old is new again (but also still old)' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker