Todays Match up of the Day is the Rams of VCU against the Maize & Blue Wolverines of Michigan. This is a new segment of my blog and throughout the Tournament called Match Up of the Day. In this segment I will pick what is the best match up analyze it, give the keys to victory for both teams, and then tell you guys who I think is going to win the game and why. Today the match up is VCU vs Michigan at 12:15 ET on CBS. There are many great games on today but I just have a feeling this is going to be a close one.
Keys for Michigan: Michigan has a tough game ahead of them against the VCU Rams. We all know that VCU is going to come out in a full-court press defense, so Michigan will turn the ball over a lot in this game. The key to victory for the Wolverines is the play of super star point guard Trey Burke. With the Rams trying to reek havoc Burke has to take care of the ball and set the game to his tempo. Also if they can break VCU’s press and get the ball down the court they could spread the Rams out and pass it to Hardaway or Stauskas to drain a three point shot. If they limit turnovers and spread the floor the Rams might be headed into some big trouble. If Michigan wants to advance to the Sweet Sixteen Mr. Wooden Award Burke has to take over.
Keys for VCU: Virginia Commonwealth has a HUGE task ahead of them, they have to contain Trey Burke and the high powered Michigan offense. The Rams will come out in a full-court press to force turnovers, but staying in that defense for the whole game might not be the greatest idea. Michigan will slice right through that defense and get an easy lay up, jump shot, or wide open three pointer. What the Rams should do is in the middle of the game switch to a half-court press defense to rattle John Beilein’s Michigan Wolverines. They would catch them off guard and take advantage off the surprised offense. Also Michigan only had one day to prepare for the Rams pesky defense, that might be a huge problem for Burke and company. VCU has a great chance of reeking havoc and they might send the Wolverines packing back to Ann Arbor.
Prediction: This is going to be a hard fought game between two evenly matched teams but there has to be a winner. Although Shaka Smart and his Rams demolish opposing teams offenses Burke will be able to exploit the Rams press and kick it out to their jump shooters and rack up the points. At the end of the game it is going to come down to Trey Burke and I trust him to win it for them. I think Michigan is going to survive a battle and move on to the Sweet Sixteen.