Opponent Preview: Michigan

No. 9 Minnesota hosts No. 5 Michigan Thursday night in front of a sold-out crowd as both teams look to bounce back after losing their first Big Ten game. Tip-off at Williams Arena is scheduled for 6 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN.

No. 9 Minnesota (15-2, 3-1) vs. No. 5 Michigan (16-1, 3-1)
Minneapolis, Minn. – Williams Arena
6:00 p.m. CT – ESPN (Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale)


"Mbakwe causes the problems just because he's a tremendous rebounder, shot-blocker, dunker, the whole deal. He doesn't need much space – he operates really well in small spaces. As a result, you have to have a body on him in order to compete with him. So that will be difficult." – Michigan head coach John Beilein on Minnesota forward Trevor Mbakwe

"Just coming out with a high intensity. Just coming out and giving them out best shot for the first 10 minutes. Coming out and trying to be the hammer not the nail. I think that's the most important thing about this team. Playing on the road, we know it's tough because the fans are against you so we know that we have to play at a higher level and execute at a higher level." – Michigan guard Trey Burke on what the Wolverines need to do when playing games on the road


Season to Date
Michigan enters Sunday's contest with a 16-1 (3-1 Big Ten) record. Michigan rattled off 16 straight wins to start the season including a 79-72 victory over No. 18 N.C. State. During the winning steak, Michigan climbed from No. 5 to No. 2 in the national rankings. The Wolverines were poised to take over the No. 1-ranking until they suffered a loss to archrival Ohio State. The Buckeyes bested Michigan, 56-53, behind a 20-point performance by Deshaun Thomas. Prior to U-M's loss at Ohio State, Michigan's 16-0 record matched the program's best start in history equaling the same mark set in 1985-86.

Coaching Preview
John Beilein is in his sixth season as the head coach at Michigan where he has compiled a 107-78 record. In 35 years as a collegiate head coach, Beilein ranks seventh in career victories with 658. He is the only active coach in college basketball to record 20 wins at four different levels: junior college, NAIA, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division I.

Series History
Michigan leads the all-time series with Minnesota, 80-59. The Wolverines have won three straight contests against the Golden Gophers and seven of the last eight overall. The two teams only play once during the Big Ten regular season.

Last Meeting
Michigan defeated Minnesota in overtime, 73-69, during the second round of the Big Ten Tournament. The game featured a sensational showdown between two freshmen guards, Trey Burke and Andre Hollins. Burke had a game-high 30 points for the Wolverines while Hollins filled up the box score for the Gophers with 21 points, six assists and four rebounds.

Fabulous Freshmen
Nik Stauskas has been named the Big Ten's Freshman of the Week three times this season. Overall, Michigan has five Freshman of the Week honors after Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary have each collected the honor.

Random Fact
This is the first meeting between Minnesota and Michigan since 1997 in which both teams enter the game ranked in the AP & Coaches Poll.

Projected Starters
F 1 Glen Robinson III (6-6, 210, Fr.) – 12.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg
F 52 Jordan Morgan (6-8, 250, r-Jr.) – 6.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg
G 3 Trey Burke (6-0, 190, So.) – 18.0 ppg, 7.1 apg
G 10 Tim Hardaway Jr. (6-6, 205, Jr.) – 16.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg
G 11 Nik Stauskas (6-6, 190, Fr.) – 12.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg

Top Reserves
F 4 Mitch McGary (6-10, 250, Fr.) – 5.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg
G 2 Spike Albrecht (5-11, 170, Fr.) – 1.8 ppg, 1.7 apg

Location: Ann Arbor, Mich.
Enrollment: 58,089
Conference: Big Ten
Nickname: Wolverines
Colors: Maize and Blue
Coach: John Beilein (6th season)

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