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Michigan basketball vs. Rutgers: preview and predictions

What to watch and out pick for Michigan at Rutgers.



Michigan basketball vs, Rutgers
© Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

After a massive, 12-point victory over the Michigan State Spartans last weekend, the Michigan Wolverines (15-12, 9-7 Big Ten) will hit the road to face the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (17-10, 9-7 Big Ten) in a massive Big Ten showdown. Here is how Michigan basketball vs. Rutgers is looking and our predictions.

Michigan basketball vs. Rutgers preview

The Michigan Wolverines are coming into this game with a lot of momentum after downing their in-state rivals, the Michigan State Spartans. The Big Ten is still seeing a lot of shake-ups, as there is currently a six-way tie for fourth place in the conference — Michigan, Rutgers, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan State, and Maryland all boast a 9-7 conference record.

After falling just short against Indiana, the Michigan basketball team is facing must-win games the rest of the way. The good and bad news is that three of Michigan’s final four matchups are against quad one teams — it will be difficult to pick up some major wins, though the quality wins are there for the taking if UM can figure some things out.

Who to watch: Rutgers

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights have some dangerous players on their roster this year, though like Michigan, is dealing with some injury issues heading into Thursday’s matchup. Here are three Scarlet Knights to keep an eye on during the game:

  • Clifford Omoruyi — Omoruyi is a 6-11 junior center at Rutgers, and leads the Knights in points (13.4), rebounds (9.8), and blocks (2.1) per game. If the Wolverines expect a win, Dickinson and Reed will need to step up and shut the massive center down in the paint.
  • Cam Spencer — Spencer is a junior guard for the Scarlet Knights, and without some key players tonight, he will be needed to step up. On the season, Spencer averages 12.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and is shooting 43.2% from the floor.
  • Aundre Hyatt — Hyatt is the third and final Scarlet Knight averaging double digit points this season. Hyatt is a 6-6 junior forward for Rutgers, and is a threat from the floor; he is shooting nearly 40% from the floor, 30.4 % from 3-point-range, and 75% from the free throw line this year.

Predictions for Michigan basketball vs. Rutgers

Thursday’s Michigan-Rutgers matchup is a must-win for the Michigan Wolverines. So far this year, we have seen UM win one “must-win” game: last weekend’s victory over Michigan State. If the Wolverines can retain that momentum on the road, then Michigan basketball could pull off the upset over the Scarlet Knights; however, if history proves anything, the Wolverines may be returning to Ann Arbor with their 13th loss.

According to ESPN, Michigan basketball has a 15.1% chance of defeating the Scarlet Knights. With Jett Howard and Terrence Williams — both starters for the Maize and Blue — questionable, who knows how this one will play out. Still, as of now, we give a slight edge to Rutgers since they boast home court advantage.

Prediction: Rutgers 78, Michigan 75

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