- The 1993 game. During the aforementioned 1992-1993 season, IU won both of the matchups by one point. That doesn't really tell the story of the game in Bloomington. IU led that game by ten with about a minute remaining but Chris Webber made three 3-pointers in the last minute, including one as time expired, to tighten things up at the end, but IU was in no real danger of losing at the end. The game in Ann Arbor, on the other hand, was every bit as close as the score would indicate. As the linked article says, Alan Henderson blocked Chris Webber's attempted putback and IU escaped with a one point win and ultimately won the Big Ten with a 17-1 record.
- The 1997 game. This IU team ultimately disappointed, but not nearly as much as the Wolverines. This was Steve Fisher's last Michigan team, and despite a roster that included Robert Traylor and Maurice Taylor, the Wolverines somehow ended up in the NIT. The IU game certainly contributed to the Wolverines' demise. IU trailed by 20 early in the second half but worked back to within three points at the end of the second half. Freshman AJ Guyton, who scored 31 points in the game, buried a three pointer with 2.1 seconds remaining to send the game to overtime. I have linked the Michigan Daily's coverage above. Bob Knight said that other than Keith Smart's shot in the 1987 NCAA title game, "[t]hat's as good a play as I've ever had a kid make under that kind of pressure."
Unfortunately for the Wolverines, Chris Webber isn't walking through that door. None of Michigan's tempo-free numbers look particularly good, although the tough schedule means that the adjusted numbers are prettier than the raw numbers. Michigan's raw offensive efficiency rank is #177, but adjusted it's a respectable #102. While the Wolverines don't shoot particularly well, they take care of the ball (19.9 turnover percentage, #69 nationally; 8.1 steal percentage, #45 nationally). Michigan capitalizes on 35.1 percent of offensive rebound opportunities, #116 nationally. Defensively, it's uglier. Michigan allows 1.08 points per possession (#302 nationally), and even the weighted defensive efficiency number ranks #183 nationally. The Wolverines block a lot of shots (#30 nationally per possession) and keep opponents from getting to the line (#17 nationally). The low number of freethrow attempts may be attributable to the Wolverines' part-time use of Beilein's famous 1-3-1 zone. On the flip side, Michigan's opponents shoot over 42 percent from behind the arc (that's #329, almost dead last nationally), so why take it to the hoop?
For an update on IU's tempo-free numbers, go here. Of course, IU's strength offensively has been getting to the free throw line (IU is #2 nationally in free throws made per possession), while Michigan opponents haven't been able to do so. Despite the excellence of Eric Gordon, IU has been a good but not overwhelming three point shooting team (37.4, #90 nationally) and only 30 percent of IU's attempts are three point shots (#255 nationally). IU ranks #20 in both 2-point field goal percentage and free throw percentage. On the defensive side, IU again is above average nationally across the board, but the Hoosiers' weakest category defensively is turnover percentage. IU should win this game, but it seems that Michigan's strength (taking care of the ball) lines up against IU's defensive weakness. And while Michigan isn't a good defensive team, the Wolverines have lost because of opponents' three point shooting, which hasn't been the dominant focus of IU's offense. It will be interesting to see whose game these teams play.
I'll discuss Michigan's roster tomorrow.