Or: Tim’s foray into tempo-free statistics.
Michigan takes on the Iowa Hawkeyes tomorrow at 2:30 PM in Indianapolis. The first-round Big Ten Tourney game is crucial if Michigan wants to return to The Big Dance, and Wolverine fans can catch it on ESPN2.
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|
|Mich eFG% v. Iowa eFG% D||132||173||M|
|Mich eFG% D v. Iowa eFG%||194||33||II|
|Mich TO% v. Iowa Def TO%||17||255||MMM|
|Mich Def TO% v. Iowa TO%||136||199||M|
|Mich OReb% v. Iowa DReb%||281||125||II|
|Mich DReb% v. Iowa OReb%||192||301||MM|
|Mich FTR v. Iowa Opp FTR||317||86||III|
|Mich Opp FTR v. Iowa FTR||29||236||MMM|
|Mich AdjO v. Iowa AdjD||44||96||M|
|Mich AdjD v. Iowa AdjO||77||72||–|
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…
In perhaps the most poorly-officiated game of the year (and that’s saying a TON. Actually, the Minnesota game might have been slightly worse, but the bad calls were distributed evenly between the two teams and didn’t greatly affect the game’s outcome), Michigan had a regulation victory cruelly ripped from their hands by shockingly incompetent officiating, and the Wolverines sealed their own fate in overtime. Manny Harris was benched for the entire extra session, Michigan couldn’t hit a shot (or take any other than contested 3s) and the Wolverines lost by double-digits. Iowa managed to take the game without their bigman, Cyrus Tate.
Since Last We Met…
Michigan has picked up huge wins over Purdue (at home) and Minnesota (on the road), while dropping an away game to Wisconsin in between. Michigan, who looked to be dead in the water after losing to Iowa (again, under questionable circumstances), has played itself back into tourney contention.
Iowa dropped games to Michigan State, Northwestern, and Ohio State before knocking off Penn State in Carver-Hawkeye, and putting a severe dent in the Nittany Lions’ chances of dancing. Cyrus Tate has returned to action, though he certainly isn’t at 100% effectiveness. In what could be the last game of his college career, I presume Tate will give it all he has.
Though it certainly didn’t feel like it after the big win against Minnesota, Michigan absolutely must come away from this game victorious if they want the tourney dream to remain alive. Cyrus Tate has been back on the court for the Hawkeyes, which should improve them a bunch. However, Iowa is playing for little more than a chance to spoil somebody’s season, whereas Michigan’s motivation is making their first NCAA tournament in 10 years. Beating Illinois in the next game certainly wouldn’t hurt, but a win over Iowa is absolutely crucial.
KenPom doesn’t make predictions for the conference tournaments (primarily because they aren’t listed on the teams’ schedules). To Vegas, Michigan is a single-digit favorite at the neutral site.