GAME INFO: Thu., March 13th, 2008 - 11:05 A.M. CST - Conseco Fieldhouse; Indianapolis, IN
IOWA: 13-18 (6-12); RPI: 184 / Michigan: 9-21 (5-13); RPI: 181
TV COVERAGE: Big Ten Network - DirecTV (Ch. 206) / DISH Network (Ch. 140) - Wayne Larrivee and Shon Morris will call the action.
OFFICIAL GAME NOTES - VIEW HERE
LINE - Iowa is a 1.5 point favorite at the neutral site; 112.5 is the over/under.
Three weeks ago Michigan was the team "nobody wanted to face in the Big Ten Tournament" per the boys at the Big Ten Network studios. Since that analysis, Michigan has lost 4 out of 5 (including 3 in a row). Losses were to Northwestern at home, at Minnesota, at Penn State, and Purdue at home.
Iowa can't puff its check out, however, as the Hawks have lost 6 out of their last 8, with the only wins coming against Northwestern.
But, hell, scrap all that junk. This is the Big Ten Tournament, at one point almost renamed the Steve Alford Tournament, Iowa has done well in this tournament. They'd need to win 4 in 4 days to have any sort of postseason hopes. It's been done before... by Iowa. Let's not fool ourselves, though, this team doesn't look anything like the team that gave Steve Alford his infamous extension with Iowa. There's no Recker. There's no Evans. And that run in the tournament was done in the United Center, not the Conseco Fieldhouse. Yeah, but besides Illinois, Iowa is the team that has had the most success in the Big Ten Tournament. What does this all mean? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Coach Lickliter says, "We're planning on winning it," in regards to the Big Ten Tournament. Why not? I believe him. It starts with Michigan.
KEYS TO THE GAME:
1.) Somehow, someway get more than one player "on" during a game. Freeman, Kelly, Tate, Johnson, Gorney all have had great games during the season. I have a had time remembering when 2 or more of them did it in the same game. I'd like to see that.
2.) Extend the defense. Don't let DeShaun Sims and Anthony friggin' Wright hit treys on you all night. Pressure D on Manny Harris, as well. Iowa hasn't played good D in awhile, hence the losses.
3.) Hit the gaps, find the open man, work the clock on offense. And for God sakes, when Tate is posting up down low, get him the damn ball.
4.) Control the tempo.
5.) Attitude goes a long way with this team. The Hawks need the right one today.
Iowa - 64
Michigan - 59