Michigan vs. Texas Tech: Picks, predictions for March Madness Sweet 16 matchup | NCAA Basketball

No. 2-seed Michigan meets 3-seed Texas Tech within the West Area semifinal on Thursday in Anaheim, Calif. Tipoff is scheduled for 9:29 p.m. ET

Michigan is trying to return to the Ultimate 4 the second consecutive yr and third time general beneath John Beilein. The Wolverines are 5-2 within the second weekend of the NCAA Event beneath Beilein. Texas Tech is again within the Candy 16 for the second straight season beneath Chris Beard. The Crimson Raiders superior to the Elite Eight final season. This will likely be a defensive wrestle.

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Right here is extra on what ought to be a good Candy 16 matchup out West: 

No. 2 Michigan  

Coach: John Beilein (37 years, 12 at Michigan)
General file: 30-6
Scoring chief: Ignas Brazdeikis (14.Eight ppg)
Rebounding chief: Jon Teske (7.1 rpg)
Assists chief: Zavier Simpson (6.Eight apg)
Well-known non-athlete alum: James Earl Jones

No. Three Texas Tech

Coach: Chris Beard (Six years, three at Tech) 
General file: 28-6
Scoring chief: Jarrett Culver (18.8 ppg)
Rebounding chief: Culver (6.5 rpg)
Assists chief: Culver (3.8 apg)
Well-known non-athlete alum: Colby Donaldson

Greatest particular person matchup 

Jarrett Culver vs. Charles Matthews. Culver is a possible NBA lottery choose who does all of it for the Crimson Raiders. Culver averaged 22.5 factors, 9.Zero rebounds and 6.Zero assists within the first two rounds. If he has that form of evening, then Michigan is in hassle. Matthews, in the meantime, opted to return to Michigan this season. He will be that all-around participant ‚ he was within the first spherical towards Montana with 22 factors and 10 rebounds. This can be a likelihood for Matthews to shine in a marquee matchup.

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Most eye-popping stat

Scoring protection. Michigan (58.2) and Texas Tech (59.2) are separated by only one level and rank second and third, respectively, in scoring protection. Virginia (55.0) is the one workforce that provides up fewer factors. When the announcers say “first one to 60 wins” earlier than the sport, they aren’t joking. These two groups thrive on successful with their protection.

Michigan wins if …

Michigan’s protection, led by Simpson, forces turnovers. The Crimson Raiders averaged 14.Three turnovers per recreation of their losses this season. The Wolverines led the nation in fewest turnovers per recreation. The actual fact is, any considered one of Michigan’s 5 starters can key a victory is huge. If Brazdeikis and Jordan Poole are each on, the Wolverines will likely be again within the Elite Eight.

Texas Tech wins if …

Culver does his factor and Texas Tech’s protection results in Michigan standing round an excessive amount of on offense. If the Wolverines accept too many 3-pointers and aren’t hitting — a pattern that prevented them from pulling away from Florida within the second spherical — then the Crimson Raiders will likely be in fine condition. All 5 Tech starters scored in double figures towards Buffalo. They should proceed that steadiness on offense.

MORE: Ranking Sweet 16 teams’ chances of winning it all

Candy 16 choose

Michigan. It’ll be tight, and Culver can carry Texas Tech to a victory right here. The Crimson Raiders have a greater file in video games determined by 10 factors or fewer, and all indications are this will likely be that form of recreation. Simpson is the X-factor. If he stays out of foul hassle, Michigan’s balanced offense will discover sufficient rhythm within the second half to tug out the victory.

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