NCAA Round of 32
(1) Michigan (21-4, 14-3) vs. (8) LSU (19-9, 11-6)
- Time: 4:10PM PST | 6:10PM CST | 7:10PM EST
- Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
- TV: CBS
Michigan checks in after an 82-66 win over Texas Southern in the opening round after winning eight out of their last 11. The Wolverines went out of the Big Ten Tournament in the semifinals after a 68-67 loss to Ohio State.
LSU has also won eight out of its last 11 after the Tigers took down St. Bonaventure, 76-61, on Saturday to advance to the matchup with the Wolverines. The Bayou Bengals lost to Alabama in the SEC Championship game last Sunday, 80-79, and were totally underseeded by the NCAA Selection Committee with the 8-seed.
Michigan’s Wolverines won the Big Ten regular-season which was their 15th regular-season title in history. The Wolverines have nine NCAA appearances and two Final Fours since 2009.
The Tigers and Wolverines have met three times as LSU won the last meeting, 77-75, in 2017.
Vs. The Spread
- The Wolverines are 13-6 ATS in their last 19 games
- The UNDER has been the play in 12 of the Wolverines’ last 16 games
- The total has gone OVER in 6 of Michigan’s last 8 games vs. the SEC
- The Tigers are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games
- LSU is 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games vs. the Big Ten
- The Tigers are 6-1 SU in their last 7 games played in March
Last Time Out
Mike Smith led four Wolverines in double figures with 18 points as they defeated 16-seed Texas Southern, 82-66, to advance to the Round of 32. Hunter Dickinson had 16 points as six of nine Wolverines were making their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Cameron Thomas had 27 points and three Tigers had double-doubles as LSU rolled to a 76-61 victory over St. Bonaventure on Saturday. Aundre Hyatt, Darius Days, and Trendon Watford recorded the double-doubles as the Tigers dominated the Bonnies, 49-30, on the boards.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|LSU||+5 (-110)||+175||O 148.5 (-105)|
|Michigan||-5 (-110)||-205||U 148.5 (-115)|
With Isaiah Livers out for the season, this takes away Michigan’s second-leading scorer and the Wolverines’ best three-point shooter. Mike Smith stepped up on Saturday, so he and Chaundee Brown will need to step up on the perimeter to match LSU’s high-flying offense. Coach Juwan Howard had excellent foresight in adding talented players with age in Smith and Brown as the duo transferred from Columbia and Wake Forest, respectively.
The key now will be finding Hunter Dickinson (14.3 ppg, 7.4 rpg) in the middle to diversify the offense. LSU holds its opponents to 29.6 percent from three and the entirety of the Tigers’ defense has gotten better over the past six games.
Key Wolverines Stat:
Dickinson is the Wolverines’ leading scorer and rebounder and while most pundits figured he would play a role, none actually thought it would be to this extent in the preseason. Overall, Michigan doesn’t want to run with LSU, but they will probably try to expose the Tigers’ two-point defense which stands at 50.9 percent (223rd/NCAA).
Franz Wagner is another option on the interior; however, this matchup will be about whether Michigan can handle the athleticism of the Tigers in the middle as LSU’s 6-9, 240-pound Trendon Watford and 6-7, 245-pound Darius Days will be problems as they are much more athletic on the interior. Foul trouble in this game will be a determinant.
The backcourt of Cameron Thomas (22.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg) and Javonte Smart (15.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg) will be an issue with all of their dynamics in scoring and playmaking. Smart is a hard-nosed point guard that takes the ball off the dribble and is a solid decision-maker who will keep feeding Thomas who consistently scores, but also gets to the line where he has made 187 out of 213 free throws. Trendon Watford (16.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg) on the interior balances Thomas and Smart as he makes 48.3 percent of his shots.
Key Tigers Stat:
LSU has held it’s last six opponents to 39.1 percent from the floor as the defense has been able to account for 11.2 points off of turnovers in the Tigers’ last six games. The team is markedly improved from early in the season as LSU was at a point where it had to outscore opponents to win.
Darius Days continues to flourish inside of the program on both end of the floor. He is averaging 12.2 points and 11.2 rebounds in his last six games. His 13 points and 11 rebounds against St. Bonaventure accounted for his eighth double-double of the season.
Winner: LSU (+5) 75, Michigan 71