First of all, thanks to everybody for voting in the poll and for all the feedback I have been receiving so far. Let us know who you think will win the game by voting in the poll at the end of this post.
Michigan has a tough assignment going against the 4th ranked UCLA Bruins. The game will be played at 9pm on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. The game will be televised on ESPN2.
UCLA features their own version of the Fab Five with their freshmen class, headlined by point guard Jrue Holiday. However, they still rely heavily on two seniors in Darren Collision and Josh Shipp.
Collision is fresh off PAC-10 Player of the Week honors and he was named the MVP of the Los Angeles Regional of the 2K Sports Classic. Click here to read more about Collision’s awards.
Manny Harris was named the Big Ten Player of the Week and he was named the MVP of the Ann Arbor Regional of the 2K Sports Classic.
UCLA is certainly an outstanding team but they are a team that Michigan is somewhat familiar with. This will be the 7th straight season Michigan has played UCLA. Michigan has lost 4 straight to the Bruins after beating them in 2002-03 and 2003-04.
I am sure Coach Howland will have his team paying close attention to Manny Harris. The keys will be for Zack Gibson and DeShawn Sims to be a factor in the paint and for some of our shooters to bang down some three balls to help open up things for Manny.
The good thing is that Coach Beilein seems to have a nice crew of shooters when you consider that Stuart Douglass, David Merritt, Kelvin Grady, Anthony Wright, CJ Lee and Zack Novak are all capable of knocking down some three pointers. Also the defense will need to be very active and we can’t afford to get crushed on the boards.
All of the experts out there are giving Michigan no chance to win this game. I don’t know what is going to happen. I do have the feeling that Michigan is going to play a lot better then people think they will.
It should be mentioned that on Saturday Northeastern went to Providence and beat the Friars 70-66.
Duke will play Southern Illinois prior to the Michigan vs. UCLA game. The winners of the two games will play on Friday as will the losers of the two games.