KU was unbeaten last season before losing its final non-conference regular-season game at Tennessee, 76-68, on Jan. 10. The Jayhawks then won 13 straight and 19 of their final 21 games.
Verne Lundquist and Clark Kellogg will broadcast the game for CBS.
Michigan returns 10 letterwinners and three starters off last season's
team, which went 15-17 and 9-9 in the Big Ten. The Wolverines (11-4,
1-2 in Big Ten), who are 10-1 at home this season, are coming off a
66-50 loss at Wisconsin on Jan. 5. UM has won eight of its last 10 but
lost two of its last three games entering today's showdown.
Michigan has won at Clemson and beaten Utah and Penn State at home. The
Wolverines fell to then-No. 9 Syracuse, 53-50, in Atlantic City, N.J.,
on Nov. 26, and also lost to then-No. 12 Purdue, 80-57, at home on Dec.
Sophomore guard Darius Morris leads the attack with a team-high 15.1
points and 7.3 assists per game, and also 20 steals. Freshman guard Tim Hardaway, Jr. is next in scoring (10.8 ppg), followed by freshman
forward Jordan Morgan (9.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg), junior forward Zack Novak
(8.5 ppg, team-high 6.9 rpg), junior guard Stu Douglass (8.0 ppg,
team-best 27 three-pointers), and freshman forward Evan Smotrycz (7.0
Michigan averages 67.9 points per game and allows 59.6. The Wolverines
shoot 44.2 percent from the field, 34.2 percent from three-point range
(8.1 made threes per game), and 72.4 percent at the free-throw
line. They're holding opponents to 40 percent from the field and 32
percent from beyond the arc, while outrebounding foes 35.6 to 33.4
boards per game.
The Wolverines are a young, rising team which starts three freshmen, a
sophomore, and a junior. Head coach John Beilein is in his fourth
season at Michigan with a 57-57 record. He is in his 33rd season
overall with a 608-375 record.
SELF ON MICHIGAN
KU coach Bill Self said Michigan is an improved team than the one KU
beat last season in Allen Fieldhouse, 75-64, on Dec. 19, 2009.
"Michigan is good," Self said. "Michigan's RPI is around 50. They have
had some good wins. They played Syracuse to (three points) on a neutral
floor. They have a couple impressive wins."
Self actually said UM poses the Jayhawks' toughest test to date this
season. He added that the Wolverines' style is a "variation of the
Princeton offense with coach Beilein's twist."
"They are different than anyone else that we play," Self said. "UMKC
didn't run that much stuff compared to what they would normally (in
KU's 99-52 victory in Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 5). I think a lot of
that was the press slowed them down and they had to get re-set up.
Maybe that took some of that away. But we've got to do a good job. ...
Plus, they play the one-three-one (zone defense). They don't play it a
lot, but they certainly played it against us last year. We've got to do
a better job of attacking it."
Michigan is 5-1 all time against KU with the series dating back to
1949. This will be the third meeting in Crisler Arena and the first
since Jan. 27, 1985, when Michigan won 96-77 in Larry Brown's second
year as KU head coach.
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