Michigan Men's Basketball 2018 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Michigan Wolverines

Big Ten (28-7, 13-5)

Michigan was expected to stumble into this season after losing Derrick Walton, DJ Wilson, and Zak Irvin, but the emergence of Mo Wagner has led the Wolverines to a promising season and future. With wins over top teams like Ohio State, Purdue and Michigan State, the Wolverines have proved they can play with the best of them. With the subtraction of their first Purdue games, Michigan would have one of the best records in the nation, let alone the Big Ten. Michigan has won big games and the Big Ten Tournament by shooting threes and playing tight defense. The threes have become a staple of a Michigan offense but the stingy defense is a new x-factor that brings an edge to this team.
Big Wins: 12/12 at Texas (59-52), 1/13 at Michigan State (82-72), 2/18 Ohio State (74-62)
Bad Losses: 11/20 vs LSU (75-77), 1/18 at Nebraska (52-72), 2/6 at Northwestern (52-61)
Coach: John Beilein
Why They Can Surprise:
Michigan can surprise because of their defense. They suffocated the offenses of Ohio State and Michigan State in their big wins. They allow the 11th best points per game in the nation at 63.5 and only allowed one team all year to put up 90. If the other team can’t score then Michigan already has a leg up. This paired with their deep sharpshooting makes them a threat to any team they play. They were able to prove themselves with their excellent performance in the Big Ten tournament, beating two top-10 teams in back-to-back days. Who’s to say they can’t repeat this at the national level?
Why They Can Disappoint:
The Wolverines do not have a traditional big and could fall flat against a team with a post-it-up player. Mo Wagner plays center for them but is more of a stretch-four. This lack of height and depth at big positions has led to their 301st ranking in total rebounds. Purdue used Isaac Haas to get passed the Wolverines twice yet the Wolverines contained an early season Mo Bamba and a foul trouble ladened Jaren Jackson. The question remains if Wagner and Wolverines would be able to stop a true big man in their peak condition.
Probable Starters:
Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, Senior, Guard, 12.6 ppg, 3.3 apg, 3.9 rpg
Zavier Simpson, Sophomore, Guard, 7.5 ppg, 3.6 apg
Charles Matthews, Junior, Guard, 12.6 ppg, 2.6 apg, 5.4 rpg
Isaiah Livers, Freshman, Forward, 3.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg
Moritz Wagner, Junior, Forward, 14.5 ppg, 7.1 rpg
Key Role Players:
Duncan Robinson, Senior, Guard/Forward, 9.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg
Jordan Poole, Freshman, Guard, 6.3 ppg
Eli Brooks, Freshman, Guard, 2.0 ppg, 1.1 apg
Jaaron Simmons, Senior, Guard, 1.5 ppg
Jon Teske, Sophomore, Center, 3.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 74.5 (162nd in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 63.5 (9, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.1 (60, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.0 (118, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.1 (53, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.9 (87, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 65.9 (324, 12)
Rebound Margin: 0.7 (176, 9)
Assists Per Game: 14.8 (99, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 9.1 (2, 1)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2017    NCAA Round of 64 win over Oklahoma State
2017    NCAA Round of 32 win over Louisville
2017    NCAA Regional Semifinal loss to Oregon
2016    NCAA Opening Round win over Tulsa
2016    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Notre Dame
2014    NCAA Round of 64 win over Wofford
2014    NCAA Round of 32 win over Texas
2014    NCAA Regional Semifinal win over Tennessee
2014    NCAA Regional Final loss to Kentucky
2013    NCAA Round of 64 win over South Dakota State
2013    NCAA Round of 32 win over VCU
2013    NCAA Regional Semifinal win over Kansas
2013    NCAA Regional Final win over Florida
2013    NCAA National Semifinal win over Syracuse
2013    NCAA National Final loss to Louisville
2012    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Ohio
2011    NCAA Round of 64 win over Tennessee
2011    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Duke
2009    NCAA Round of 64 win over Clemson
2009    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Oklahoma
*all team stats through 3/4