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Studying abroad: Michigan sites preview Xavier

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Consensus is that it's going to be a battle between Michigan's guards and Xavier's big men tonight.

He's probably thinking about three-pointers.
He's probably thinking about three-pointers.
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

I don't know how often we'll do this, but when there is quality coverage to be found elsewhere, I'll link to it here so you all can have a look at how other teams' fans see Xavier.

Preview: Michigan vs. Xavier | Drew Hallett, maizeandbrew.com

The Prediction

Michigan is the favorite and has home-court advantage, but I have a bad feeling about this one. Jalen Reynolds is a beast on the block, and it's hard to imagine that he won't feast on Michigan's centers given what we've seen from them in the past two weeks. And it's not like Michigan's perimeter defense or rotations have been much better. Open shots from the outside weren't too hard to find for Northern Michigan and Elon. Xavier isn't a great perimeter shooting team, but the Musketeers have a few players -- Myles Davis and Remy Abell -- that can capitalize. I think Michigan's defense will struggle in this one, and I'm not sure that the offense will be able to do enough unless they light it up from three.

Xavier 71, Michigan 67

Hallett sees Xavier's interior advantage as a possible pivotal point in this game. If Michigan can hold serve in the paint and get clean looks from form Williams College Eph Duncan Robinson, they'll be able to work a favorable outcome in tonight's game.

Game 3: Xavier at Michigan Preview | Dylan Burkhardt, umhoops.com

Bottom Line

Ken Pomeroy likes Michigan to win this game at home by a final score of 75-69 and gives the Wolverines a 73% chance of victory. All eyes will be on the rebounding battle inside and watching to see if Michigan's big men can step up, but this game will still probably be won or lost by the perimeter play. Michigan has terrific, experienced guards, but so does Xavier.

Burkhardt highlights, among other things, the free throw battle. Xavier's interior advantage could be neutralized if the whistles go against Reynolds and Farr early. On the road - and with those two not exactly above reproach in the fouling department anyway - this could be a big storyline to watch.

Michigan Basketball Gameday: Wolverines host Xavier in Big Ten vs. Big East showdown | Brendan F. Quinn, mlive.com

Michigan and Xavier will meet at Crisler Center in an appropriate matchup of total opposites. Michigan's perimeter shooting and offense-first philosophy will clash with Xavier's rugged post play, defensive identity, elite rebounding and balance. It will mark the first significant test for the 24th-ranked Wolverines, while the Musketeers are coming off wins against Miami and Missouri.

There's a little less analysis here, but the links are worth clicking through. Fun fact: Xavier is 8 of its last 10 against Big Ten teams. Hooray!