First Four Preview: Michigan Takes on Tulsa in Dayton

When: Wednesday, March 16 2015

Where: Dayton, Ohio

Coverage: TruTV

Well, Michigan has officially made the tournament.  After a weekend of worrying about whether the Wolverines would get in or not, they  have secured a first 4 match for the right to the 11 seed.

The Wolverines will be taking on Tulsa from the American Conference.  Tulsa was not an overwhelming team by any means this year, with a great deal of critics believing that the Golden Hurricanes had stolen a spot from what they believe to be more deserving teams.  Tulsa though comes into this tournament game with a 20-11 record, with impressive wins over Wichita State, Oregon State, UCONN and SMU.  Tulsa also thinks the Golden Hurricanes are more deserving, only making Michigan a 2.5 point favorite.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have not seen much of Tulsa this year but from what I have seen, Tulsa likes to play in transition.  The Golden Hurricanes like to get the ball up the court and fast.  This all starts with Senior Guard, James Woodward.  Woodward leads the team in points per game (15.6) and is in the top 3 in almost every team stat.  The Golden Hurricanes as a whole though are a very senior laden team.

A plus for the Wolverines though is that Tulsa does not really have a dominate big man.  Dominate big men have hurt the Wolverines all season, whether  it was Jarrod Uthoff or any of the other big men they have faced.  Tulsa, who is a bit smaller team should be a very good match up for the Wolverines.

Ultimately though this tournament comes down to what Wolverines team shows up.  The inconsistency of the Wolverines this year has been a major part of the reason for the position they are in right now.  If the Wolverine team that beat Indiana shows up, I believe Michigan can win some games in this tournament, and maybe make it farther than most people believe they can.  On the other hand though, if the Michigan of some of the uglier losses shows up, Michigan may not even get pass Tulsa, but I believe that Beilein and the staff will get these kids up for these games.

Tulsa: 68 – Michigan:76

Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports