5 Keys to Michigan Vs. Maryland

When: 1:00 P.M. EST
Where: College Park, Maryland
Coverage: CBS

Michigan comes into their game Sunday against a hungry Maryland team.  Maryland comes into Sunday’s game after two straight losses, one of them being an ugly loss to Minnesota.  Maryland, is looking to get back on track with a much needed win.  Michigan on the other hand is looking to keep their NCAA tournament dreams alive after an loss to Ohio State.

The last time these two teams met, it was a huge upset for the Wolverines with a 70-67 win in Ann Arbor.  Michigan knocked off the #3 team in the country at the time.  If Michigan wants the same outcome on Sunday, then the Wolverines are going to have to fix some problems that they are having.

#1.) Defense
Michigan struggled against Ohio Sate, granted Ohio State has a sneaky good defense but Maryland is tied for #24 in men’s D1 basketball for scoring defense (according to NCAA.com), which is considerably better than Ohio State’s.  Michigan needs to make points come at a premium in this game for the shot at another upset.

#2.) Caris is Done For The Season
The Wolverines are also going to need a big game from their bench players.  Now that Caris LaVert is being shut down for the season, Michigan is going to need it’s bench to step up even more. Players like Dawkins, Wilson and Chatman are going to need to play solid minutes coming off the bench.  Michigan has been winning without Caris, but I believe that if Michigan want to continue into the big dance, then they are going to need some big plays from the bench.

#3.) Duncan Robinson is an X-Factor 
Duncan Robinson is one of Michigan’s go to three point shooters. The three point shot is s necessity in Beilein’s offense.  This makes Robinson an X-Factor for Sunday’s game.  Last time these two teams met, Robinson had 17 points, helping lift the Wolverines over Maryland. If Michigan can get a solid game out of Robinson, then the Wolverines have a good shot at another upset.

#4.) Continue To Keep Melo Trimble In Check 
When Michigan last played Maryland, Michigan was able to shut down Maryland’s best player, Melo Trimble.  Michigan held Trimble to a whopping 2 points.  This will be huge for Michigan, if they can make Trimble a non-factor.  Trimble will be looking to get revenge after a poor performance though.

#5.) Play For The Big Dance
Now this spot is usually reserved for me saying that, “We need someone to out rebound Derrick Walton Jr.” At this point, I’m just convinced that probably will not be happening.  So now this spot goes to, the Big Dance.  Michigan still has a very good shot at making the tournament, this game could go along way in making their resume look even more impressive.  It’d be hard to leave out a 20+ win B1G team, with wins over #3 Maryland, #6 Maryland, and #18 Purdue

Overall, this looks to be a tough game for Michigan, especially that they have to travel to College Park for it.  I do not think the Wolverines have enough to pull this one out, hopefully they prove me wrong.

Prediction: Michigan 65 – Maryland 75