Indiana-Michigan Preview


Michigan and Indiana each admit to not playing at a particularly high level recently, but coach John Beilein's team has to feel good about how it's looked at home.

The 23rd-ranked Wolverines look to improve to 13-0 in Ann Arbor when they host the 20th-ranked Hoosiers on Wednesday night.

Michigan and Indiana are trying to stay in the hunt for a Big Ten title despite some recent struggles. The Wolverines (16-6, 6-3) return home following a 1-2 road stretch, which included a non-conference loss to Arkansas on Jan. 21 and a 64-49 defeat at Ohio State on Sunday.

Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 15 points and Trey Burke added 13 against the Buckeyes, but Michigan shot 35.8 percent in its lowest-scoring game of the season. It attempted only four free throws and gave up 14 offensive rebounds, while starter Zack Novak went scoreless in 33 minutes.

"Things we could control a little bit - standing in there, taking a charge instead of backing away and hitting somebody legally in a box out - could have made a big difference in this game," Beilein said. "The good news is we can control those things in the future, hopefully."

Michigan will try to bounce back as it seeks its first 13-0 start at home since 1985-86. The Wolverines are holding opponents to 53.9 points on 39.5 percent shooting there, recording wins over then-No. 18 Wisconsin and then-No. 9 Michigan State.

Burke has been particularly impressive in Ann Arbor. The freshman has averaged 15.2 points at home - 20.0 in his last four games.

Burke will be looking for a measure of revenge after being held to 10 points on 4-of-15 shooting in a 73-71 road loss to the Hoosiers (17-5, 5-5) on Jan. 5.

Michigan lost that game despite going 10 of 24 beyond the arc. The Wolverines came back from a 15-point first-half deficit to tie the score late before coming up short.

"We know we have to do a much better job of handling their pressure offense," Beilein said. "We have to be able to adjust to that."

Christian Watford scored 25 points in that win while Cody Zeller added 18.

Zeller had 26 on 11-of-12 shooting in a 103-89 victory over Iowa on Sunday after being held to seven points in Thursday's 57-50 loss at Wisconsin.

It was the first time the Hoosiers scored more than 100 points in a conference game since defeating the Hawkeyes 110-79 on March 12, 1996.

"I had a pretty easy job, just catching it and dunking it," Zeller said. "Our guards did a really nice job of finding me in the alley a couple times. Verdell (Jones) did a very nice job of passing tonight. I thought it was a good team effort."

Jones finished with 14 points and nine assists to help Indiana, which had lost four of five.

A victory in Ann Arbor could be the signature road win Indiana is looking for. The Hoosiers are 0-28 versus ranked clubs away from Bloomington since February 2002, and have lost their three road games against Top 25 opponents this season by an average of 13.0 points.

Zeller has averaged 9.0 points in those losses while being plagued by foul trouble.

Indiana has lost its last two visits to Ann Arbor.