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Michigan Wolverines Basketball: Northwestern Preview

The undefeated Michigan Wolverines will look to get to 17-0 Sunday night.

Northwestern comes to Ann Arbor looking to knock off Michigan. The game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. and can be seen on BTN with Kevin Kugler and Jon Crispin on the call.

Earlier this season, Michigan won at Northwestern 64-62 on Dec. 4. The Wolverines are 65-20 at home against Northwestern all time and have won the last seven. As U-M head coach, John Beilein is 14-7 against Northwestern.

In Northwestern’s last game, the Wildcats fell to Iowa 73-63 Wednesday night. Northwestern is 1-4 so far in Big Ten play and have had three conference games decided by just two points.

Michigan’s strong defense will likely not have any problems with Northwestern’s poor offense. The Wildcats adjusted offensive efficiency of 105.3 is the 124th in college basketball. With an effective field goal percentage of 49.6, which is 216th in the country, Northwestern has struggled to shoot so far this season.

On the other end of the court, Northwestern has a strong defense with an adjusted efficiency of 93.9, which is the 33rd best in the nation. Teams only have an effective field goal percentage of 46.6 against the Wildcats, which is four percent below the national average. Teams are only shooting 27.4 percent from three, which is the eight best mark in college basketball.

Northwestern is led by fifth-year senior forward Vic Law who is averaging 17.3 points, while adding 6.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.0 blocks and 1.2 steals. Law was teammates with Michigan’s redshirt junior guard Charles Matthews in high school.

The Wildcats are also led by senior center Derek Pardon who is averaging 13.4 points per game and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game. Pardon already has 20 blocks this season, which is the most on the team and is also shooting 61.4 percent from the field. His offensive rating of 122.9 is the 112th best in college basketball and his effective field goal percentage of 62.1 is the 79th best. His offensive rebounding percentage of 12.6 is the 84th best in the country.

Northwestern’s graduate transfer Ryan Taylor is the Wildcats best three-point shooter, averaging 12.9 points per game with 39 made threes so far this season. Taylor is great taking care of the basketball, with a turnover rate of only 9.1, which is the 53rd best in the country.

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