First Four Preview: Michigan Vs. Tulsa

The Wolverines (22-12) we’re a team on the bubble that made the first four with a pair of climatic wins in the Big ten Tournament. They will play Tulsa (20-11)¬†in Dayton, Ohio¬†Wednesday Night at 9:10 PM EST on truTV. After missing the post season in 2015, Michigan received its sixth NCAA bid in the past 9 years under coach Beilein due to an Overtime win over Northwestern (72-70), and a buzzer beaating three-pointer by Kam Chatman against Indiana (72-69) in the Big Ten Tournament. Tulsa, also a bubble team, is happy to be in the NCAA Tournament after losing to Memphis (89-67) in the first round of the American Athletic Tournament. The winner of Wednesday’s matchup will advance to play the sixth seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish Friday night.

Tulsa Player to Watch:

For a second year in a row, senior guard James Woodward was granted first team All-American Athletic Conference honors. Woodward led the Hurricane in scoring, averaging 15.6 points per game. Tulsa also features senior guard Shaquille Harrison who averages 12.6 points per game. The Wolverines will have their hands full keeping this duo in check.

Michigan Player to Watch:

Michigan Center Mark Donnal will see his most favorable matchup this month against Tulsa’s Forwards Brandon Swannegan and Rashad Smith. With both under 6-9, 210 pounds, Donnal should be able to work the ball inside to create offense, should he stay out of foul trouble. The Wolverine big man averages eight points and 4 rebounds per game.

Breakdown:

Michigan ranks 16th nationally, and led the Big Ten with three pointers per game (9.6). They need to hit shots early, and contain the Hurricane backcourt. The game is being played in Dayton, Ohio which is a three hour drive from Ann-Arbor so expect to see a lot of maize in the crowd. Michigan is entering the game with two crucial wins in Indianapolis that has given the squad confidence. However, given similar circumstances in the AAC Tournament, Tulsa lost by 22 points, shooting 4-15 from beyond the arc.

Edge: Wolverines