2020 Big Ten Tournament Preview: #8 Rutgers vs. #9 Michigan

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher 

The Michigan Wolverines and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights will do battle on Thursday afternoon. They will tip off at noon EST  at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

This matchup will be in the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament. The winner then will play No. 1-seed Wisconsin Badgers on Friday at noon. 

Michigan Wolverines center Jon Teske celebrates scoring a three-point basket against the Montana Grizzlies in the NCAA Tournament game
Jon Teske celebrates scoring a three-point basket against the Montana Grizzlies in the NCAA Tournament game (Photo by the Associated Press/Nati Harnik)

This second-round matchup between Michigan and Rutgers features the #8-seed Rutgers and #9-seed Michigan. 

Michigan brings a 19-12 record into the contest under first-year head coach Juwan Howard. Rutgers had one of their best seasons in years and ended the regular season with a 20-11 mark. 

The Wolverines were 4-0 in neutral site games this season. However, the Scarlet Knights struggled in neutral site games, as they lost both of them. 

With a pair of wins over Rutgers already under their belt, the Wolverines should be confident heading into Thursday’s matchup as three-point favorites. But the Scarlet Knights finished the year with two of their best victories all season (home over Maryland and at Purdue) and Steve Pikiell should be able to make some savvy adjustments, having already seen Michigan twice. There’s value betting on the Rutgers moneyline at +140.

Michigan has never lost a second-round matchup in the Big Ten Conference. They are 4-0 all-time. 

However, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the Wolverines are just 11-10 all-time. Plus, they are 13-0 all-time against Rutgers. 

The Scarlet Knights had their first 20-win regular season in 37-years in 1982-83. Plus, their was their first 20-win overall season since the 2003-04 campaign. 

While Pikiell is 0-6 against Michigan, Rutgers is 3-3 in Big Ten Tournament games under him. 

Rutgers is scoring 69.9 points per game, while giving up 62.6 points per content. 

Ron Harper Jr. leads the team with 12.1 points per game. Myles Johnson leads the team with 7.9 rebounds per contest. 

Michigan is also scoring 69.9 points per game. However, they are giving up 58.3 points per game on defense. 

Ignas Brazdeikis leads the team with 14.8 points per game. Jon Teske also leads the team with 7.0 rebounds per contest. 

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