B1G Tournament Preview: #8 Michigan vs. #4 Purdue

The eighth seeded Wolverines (22-11) will square off against the fourth seeded Boilmakers (25-7) this Saturday in the Big Ten Tournament semi-finals. This game will tip off at 1:00 PM EST in Indianapolis’ Bankers Life Fieldhouse, and will be televised on CBS. Michigan is coming off of two thrilling late game wins, an overtime win against Northwestern, and a buzzer beating three pointer over Indiana. Purdue is rolling off of a 89-58 over 12 seeded Illinois.

Purdue Player to Watch:

Senior Boilermaker AJ Hammons will cause trouble for the Wolverines down low. Purdue loves to feed their big men, and the 7-0, first team all-Big Ten selection is one of the best low-post scorers in the country. Offensively, he is an effective scorer around the rim, averaging 14.8 points per game.

Michigan Player to Watch:

Junior winger Zak Irvin will need to carry the scoring load for the Wolverines against Purdue’s stout defense. The 6-6 guard has had an impressive tournament thus far, hitting a game winning shot against Northwestern, and scoring 19 points against Indiana to help U-M advance to the semi-finals. Irvin averages 12 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.

Breakdown:

There is still some doubt over Michigan’s current NCAA Tournament standings, but a win over the 12th ranked Boilermakers would solidify their chances. Michigan is a team that struggles to matchup against teams with great interior size like Purdue, but as we’ve seen this year, they can make up for it with great shooting and rebounding.