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Iowa Preview: Round 2

Or: Tim’s foray into tempo-free statistics.

Michigan takes on conference foe Iowa tonight at the awkward start time of 5PM. The game takes place in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, and can be seen on Big Ten Network.

Tempo-Free and efficiency comparison (if you need an explanation of what any of these things mean, head to KenPom’s website):

Michigan v. Iowa: National Ranks
Category Michigan Iowa Advantage
Mich eFG% v. Iowa eFG% D 153 170 M
Mich eFG% D v. Iowa eFG% 155 29 II
Mich TO% v. Iowa Def TO% 22 242 MMM
Mich Def TO% v. Iowa TO% 157 218 M
Mich OReb% v. Iowa DReb% 261 159 II
Mich DReb% v. Iowa OReb% 179 294 MM
Mich FTR v. Iowa Opp FTR 322 137 II
Mich Opp FTR v. Iowa FTR 22 197 MM
Mich AdjO v. Iowa AdjD 61 124 M
Mich AdjD v. Iowa AdjO 77 70 -

Differences of more than 100 places in the rankings garner two-letter advantages, differences of more than 200 get a third.

When Last We Met…

Cyrus Tate didn’t play for the Hawkeyes, and the Wolverines left Crisler Arena with a dominating victory. Manny was Manny, DeShawn was DeShawn, and this was one of the first glimpses that Michigan fans got of CJ Lee-as-defensive-specialist, a role that has seen his playing time increse dramatically over the last few games. The roleplayer that stepped up in that game was Zack Novak, who drilled a few shots from the outside, and did his scrappy undersized white guy thing. The final score of 64-49 was even a little closer than the game felt.

Since Last We Met…

Michigan’s offense has been on a fairly continuous downward spiral. Part of that is better competition, and part of it is simply a young team with very little depth. Two things are encouraging though, and they are an improvement on defense and a stellar offensive performance against Minnesota, a team that has relied on its own defense lately. If the offensive renaissance can become a trend, rather than a one-time deal, Michigan fans will feel much better about the rest of the season.

Iowa has gotten slightly worse in most respects, largely due to Cyrus Tate’s continued absence from the team. Tate played some minutes in Iowa’s recent game against Purdue, but his ankle is still not nearly 100%, and it’s unclear whether he’ll even play, much less be the effective player he is when healthy. Guard Jeff Peterson has also battled injuries of late, and it’s unclear whether he will play.

And…?

If Tate and Peterson are both out, or even limited in a big way, this is a game the Wolverines have no business losing. Even if the two play, Michigan needs this win for their tournament hopes to stay alive in any big way, while Iowa’s season is mostly lost, unless they can scrape together an NIT bid over their last 5 games.One key factor to note: The Hawkeyes have had 8 days of rest for this game, allowing them to prepare in-depth for anything Michigan might throw at them, and also giving them a little time to get healthy.

Despite Michigan’s (slightly) improved play of late, and Iowa’s implosion (2-9 in their last 11), KenPom predicts a 59-58 Iowa win in a 56-possession game. The stakes are obvious, and Michigan fans should tune in to hopefully watch their Wolverines get one step closer to a return to the NCAA tournament.

Posted under Analysis, Basketball
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