For a second straight year, the Michigan Wolverines won the conference tournament heading into the big tournament. The difference about this year is that all four teams from the Big Ten Conference who is in this years madness, had an extra week off than from most of the other teams in it with competing against them. This could either prove to be very valuable to rest up the players and give them extra practice time or that they may come up flat. Head coach John Beilien already stated that "having the extra week off will NOT be an excuse for the Wolverines if they come out looking sluggish against Montana Thursday evening". Michigan will be relying heavy on big man Mo Wagner, and senior guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman to produce in a big way during the tournament. Those two players individually have grown into potential solid NBA players, especially Mo Wagner who shows flashes of great capabilities as a future center in the pros and has some leadership abilities as well. Duncan Robinson will need to knock down a lot of three's and play tough defense coming off the bench to provide that spark that the Wolverines just may need, when the game starts to slow down and both teams are looking for a boost of energy somewhere. Starting point guard Zavier Simpson will be another big factor with his free throw shooting. If he can somehow improve his free throw precentage which was only 52 percent during the season and also starting shooting guard Charles Matthews who only shot 56 percent from the line then this could possibly be a dangerous team to face in the tournament. The three point shooting and free throws will be huge deciding factors on how far this Wolverines team can go. If they are knocking down the shots and coming up with clutch free throws late in games, this has the potential to be one of the last teams left in the tournament and possibly playing in San Antonio when it's April.
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