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December 4, 2012

Staff Predictions: Michigan







Game Information

Western Michigan Broncos at Michigan Wolverines
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Venue: Crisler Arena
Saturday, December 4 at 8:30 p.m.
Michigan leads the all-time series: 25-13

Broadcast Information
Radio: Bronco Radio Network
Coverage: Begins at 8:00 p.m.
Announcers: Robin Hook

Television/Stream: Big Ten Network
Talent: Dave Revsine & Jim Jackson


Stations: WKZO 96.5 FM (Kalamazoo, Portage, Mattawan), WMAX 96.1 FM (Grand Rapids, Holland, Muskegon), and WVIC 94.1 FM (Lansing, Jackson, Battle Creek).

John Beilein's record at Michigan: 98-77 (6th season)
Steve Hawkins record at Western Michigan: 165-133 (10th season)



Staff Predictions

Brian Persky: Michigan is playing as good of basketball as anyone in the country right now. But then again, the Broncos aren't far from that. However, there's no sense in sugar-coating this, as Western Michigan will likely be over-matched at nearly every position in tonight's game. The win over South Florida was considered a mild upset, but this one would be huge.

Michigan's coaching staff may have over-looked Bradley earlier this week, but I guarantee they will not look past the Broncos. The Wolverines have a lot of respect for what Steve Hawkins has done with this group and I don't think we see any glimpses of them letting up until the final minutes, with the game well in hand. I'll be somewhat surprised if the Broncos don't at least keep it close, but I also don't expect a nail-biter.

Score Prediction: Michigan 76, Western Michigan 61


D.J. Duckett: This is one of those matchups where the Broncos will hope to catch the Wolverines sleeping. It's not very often that top 5 teams lose on their home floor, but I feel the chances increase when they have to play an in-state team. While Michigan may have the advantage in talent among their starting five, I firmly believe that WMU has more depth.

Western showed a new kind of toughness, one I hadn't seen previously, and if they can bring that "Us Against the World" mentality to Ann Arbor, this could be one hell of a game. The main thing I will be watching for, is who will be guarding Trey Burke. It will most likely be a by-committee situation, but he is a dynamic scorer and if he is allowed to get going, I think the Broncos could be in some trouble. I think WMU keeps it close throughout, and this one comes down to free throws.

Score Prediction: Michigan 79, Western Michigan 74


David James: While these are exciting times for a young WMU basketball team, the competition is about to ramp up in a big way. That's not just because of Michigan, but the four game road trip will really test this team. As for Michigan, they're not invincible by any means but this isn't High Point or Oakland.

Score Prediction: Michigan 80, Western Michigan 66


Brandon Fitzsimons: WMU's 6 game win streak is impressive. This young team has won some close games and really gained confidence. They now go on the road to face one of the best teams in the country in Michigan. Michigan is better in every aspect of the game, including experience. UM rolls WMU.

Score Prediction: Michigan 83, Western Michigan 58


Additional Information

- The Broncos have won four of the last six meetings against Michigan, including a pair of games in Ann Arbor.

- This will be the first time the teams have met since the 2002-2003 season, and the first time since Steve Hawkins became head
coach of the Broncos.

- The Broncos received 12 votes in this week's CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll.

- Darius Paul has scored in double-digits in six consecutive games, the first Bronco freshman to do so since Ben Reed scored in double-digits in 13 consecutive games during the 2001-2002 season.

- Shayne Whittington is the reigning College Sports Madness MAC Player of the Week.

- Brandon Pokley has more double-digit scoring nights this season (5) than he did in his previous three seasons combined (2).


Links

Broncos To Face #3 Michigan on Tuesday

WMU Athletics: Official Game Notes

MLive/Kalamazoo Gazette Game Preview

Michigan Athletics: Game Preview

UMHoops.com Game Preview: Michigan vs. Western Michigan (a very good read)

UMHoops.com Preview: John Beilein previews Western Michigan

MichiganTremendous.com Previews Western Michigan

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