By Charlie Peña
CBS 62/CW50 Intern
This has been a year of ups and downs when it comes to Michigan and Michigan State basketball. The Wolverines struggled at times and even had a scary incident where their plane went off the runway but that didn’t stop them from beating Illinois, Purdue and Wisconsin to win the Big Ten Tournament. For the first time since 1998 Michigan won but will that be the confidence booster they need to excel through the bracket?
Their first game against Oklahoma State (10 seed) won’t be an easy victory. Right off the bat when comparing the two teams I could see that OSU has had a great year with 20 wins, 12 loses. Though their record might not be the best they are averaging 85.5 Points Per Game (PPG), 39.9 Rebounds Per Game (RPG) and 14.7 Assists Per Game (APG) which is very impressive.
The Wolverines (7 seed) have a 24 win, 11 loss record and are averaging 74.8 PPG, 31.7 RPG and 13.8. UofM has been playing amazing basketball lately and is not ready to give up. When it comes to the likelihood of Michigan making it to the final 4, I wouldn’t count them out completely but it doesn’t look very promising. If they beat OSU their next game will be against Louisville (2 seed) most likely and they have been dominant this year. Even though the stats might not look the best for the Wolverines there are still some diehard fans that think Michigan will go all the way.
The Spartans have had an interesting year. With a record of 19 wins, 14 loses their season has been less than satisfactory. Michigan State (9 seed) is never a team to count out seeing as this will be the 20th consecutive appearance at the NCAA Tournament. They’re averaging 71.7 PPG, 38.8 RPG, and 17 APG which isn’t bad at all. The first game they will play is against Miami (8 seed) who is averaging 69.4 PPG, 39.3 RPG, 11.9 APG and has a record of 21 wins, 11 loses.
I have confidence that Michigan State will win their first game. If they win, the second game will most likely be against Kansas who is the number 1 seed in the Midwest. If the Spartans succeed in upsetting Kansas then be prepared to see them make it to the final 4 in my opinion. The Spartans are an entirely different team in March and after last year’s first round loss, I am expecting to see some extraordinary ball playing.
The 2016-2017 season has been a rollercoaster ride for Michigan and Michigan State but when it comes down to it, both teams play great under pressure. I am pulling for both teams to win their first game and after that we will have to see where it goes. I got the statistics that I used in this blog from cbssports.com.
Remember to tune into CBS 62 Friday March 17, at 12:15 p.m. for the Wolverines and 9:20 p.m. that same night for the Spartans.
Charlie Peña is a Digital Media Specialist who studied at Lansing Community College. He is a CBS 62/CW50 Community Affairs intern who enjoys filming and editing video along with recording and mixing music.