Northwestern Wildcats vs. Michigan Wolverines Basketball Preview

Sick! Northwestern gets to play a team on the road that randomly decided to be elite for no apparent reason! Should be fun!

Northwestern plays Michigan, and its another opportunity for Northwestern to notch a victory against a quality team. NU is, well, 0-4 on this front in four tries, but, can't hurt to keep trying? Or can it? I don't really know at this point, I'm pretty drunk, mainly to numb the pain.

Anyway, hit the jump.

Are they good?: YUHHHHH! Michigan has three losses on the year: Indiana (real good) Duke (real good) and Virginia (pretty good, but, whatever.) You probably look at this and think, "hey! Northwestern also only has losses against quality teams!" But Northwestern didn't just go out and beat Wisconsin by 18 points.

Who they got?: You know about Tim Hardaway Jr. and his father's penchant for homophobia. (Between Timmy Jr. and Glen Rice Jr., this year is apparently all about making fun of the sexual fears of various Miami Heat scions.) However, something more important has emerged up in Ann Arbor: while Hardaway is the team's featured scorer, freshman point guard Trey Burke, once thought to be the second-most-important freshman point guard named "Tre" in the Big Ten, has been a revelation. Burke has replaced the seemingly Juice Thompson-level irreplaceable Darius Morris. He doesn't do quite as much - Morris assisted on 44.9 percent of field goals, which is running off a cliff but not actually falling until you look down and realize you're no longer on land-level absurd, while Burke is at a more lifelike 29.8 percent - but with a lineup filled with shooters in Evan Smotryczzjcjz;ckjzljlcjklkljcjklcz (sic), Zach Novak, and Stu Douglass and an "I can hit uncontested layups!" center type in Jordan Morgan, he's worked wonders.

What they good at?: As I noted, I'd assume the team's strength would be shooting - Smotrkczl; is hitting over 50 percent from downtown and other peeps gun as well - but the team has become one of the nation's most potent at scoring inside the arc, scoring on 56.6 percent of shots inside the arc, fourth in the country. This comes from a combination of Hardaway developing into an alarmingly potent player off the dribble, Morgan literally only taking shots that he's almost guaranteed to score on, and Burke being a good enough playmaker that he can score whil e allowing even Smjkljkljlkazccccc and Novak to get good looks from inside.

What are they bad at?: Michigan isn't a spectacular defensive team. In womp womp news for Northwestern, the Wolverines have shied away from the score upon-y 1-3-1 zone they've favored under John Beilein and played more sets out of a man than in years past.

Can NU win? (Bold font appears to have gone out on my computer.): Not likely. I suppose Northwestern might be able to go beat what appears to be a very good Big Ten team on the road, but tourney bids don't happen by themselves.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Inside NU

You must be a member of Inside NU to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Inside NU. You should read them.

Join Inside NU

You must be a member of Inside NU to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Inside NU. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker