Here is a quick look at the 3 other teams headed to Ann Arbor to play in the Coaches Vs. Cancer regional. I will also have game threads for Michigan’s games on game day.
Michigan’s opener in the Coaches vs Cancer is another division 2 team, except this one isn’t exhibition, it really counts (almost – D2 games don’t count toward post season play).
This is clearly a game Michigan should win. The Huskies are coming off of a 13-14 season in the GLIAC.. Robbie Springborn is the man to watch for the Huskies, the Huskies leading scorer averaged 12.8 points per game last year.
It should be a field day for DeShawn Sims down low, Michigan Tech has only one player 6 foot 8 or taller, freshman Nate Kindt.
IUPUI lost George Hill to the NBA (26th pick) and Austin Montgomery to graduation but they still have some pieces. Gary Patterson is the Jaguars leading returning scorer, the senior guard averaged 12.8 points per game last year while shooting 45% from long range but doesn’t appear to be much of a distributor. IUPUI also returns a pair of 6-7 do-it-all forwards in Jon Avery and Billy Pettiford, both of whom were starters last year.
Last years team was 23-7 and had some impressive wins over teams like UMass and Oral Roberts. It appears they will likely take a step back this year after losing their top 2 returning scorers but are not the push over their name makes them out to be.
Northeastern is the sexy preseason cinderella pick in the national media (Katz and Gottleib) and they are certainly a capable team. Northeastern is led by Matt Janning, a 6-4 guard who averaged 16.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.4 apg last year. Janning came to play in big games last year, scoring more than 25 points against Maryland, Connecticut, and Syracuse.
Northeastern isn’t a one man team, they return all five starters from last years team. Some other notables are forward Manny Adako (6’8″, 10.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 0.6 bpg), wingman Chase Allen (6’5″, 9.2 ppg, 3.5 apg, 4.6 rpg, 2.0 spg), and big man Nkem Ojougboh (6’9″, 9.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 0.9 bpg).
While the Huskies record last year wasn’t overly impressive they lost a lot of close games and also played a lot of high-major teams down to the wire. They lost in single digits at Illinois, at Maryland, and at Connecticut. It’s probably a safe bet that they won’t be overwhelmed visiting Crisler Arena.
I think Michigan squeaks through this bracket with wins over both Michigan Tech and Northeastern. If Michigan and Northeastern both advance Wednesday’s game should be a fun one for a chance to head to New York City.
Tuesday (predicted winners in bold)
Northeastern vs IUPUI 4pm
Michigan vs Michigan Tech 7pm (ESPNU)
Michigan Tech vs IUPUI 5pm
Michigan vs Northeastern 8pm (ESPNU)