*My 21st birthday celebration was far more exciting than the drubbing UW put on PSU on Sunday, so apologies for the lack of a recap. It was your typical UW beatdown (just like the previous 10 beatdowns). I really couldn’t tell a difference between that game and last year’s 54-44 snoozer. No one had a significant advantage in rebounding or turnovers, UW just made their significantly easier shots while PSU missed their significantly harder shots. I thought PSU would put up a better fight, but they didn’t so we’re onto the next one.
Michigan’s season has been disastrous in the early going. A preseason top 25 team has stumbled mightily and has looked anything but. Their best win has been a 9 point home win against the Evan Turner-less Buckeyes (although no more! nice to see ET back playing). They’re in desperation mode if they want to get back to the NCAA tournament. They’ve performed terribly on the road, understandably losing to KU but also to Utah and Indiana.
While Wisconsin is one of the worst matchups for the Nittany Lions in the Big Ten, I think UM is one of the most favorable. They’re small and don’t really pose a threat on the glass. Their offense is predicated on threes and no turnovers. PSU doesn’t force turnovers anyway and it’s always easier to stop a shooting team than it is to stop a team that can dominate inside. Michigan’s defense is nothing like Minnesota/Wisconsin/Purdue, either. PSU should be able to get better shots and make them.
For no reason whatsoever, I just have a really good feeling about this game. Talor Battle on national TV against a team with no real threat to stop him…with PSU’s backs on the wall with the 0-2 start. I just think Talor’s going to go nuts. Not sure if he can top his 28 point, 13 rebound, 6 assist performance against the Wolverines his freshman year, but I’ll say he comes close. If David Jackson can keep Manny from going nuts as well, PSU could be in great shape. Or they could not guard anybody and watch UM shoot the Lions out of their own building. You never know but I’m surprisingly confident about this game. That is why I’ll take the Lions to cover the 2 point spread and win, 68-61.