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Michigan Wolverines vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane Predictions, Picks, Odds and Betting Preview – NCAA March Madness First Four – March 16, 2016

Michigan Wolverines vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane Predictions, Picks, Odds and Betting Preview – NCAA March Madness First Four – March 16, 2016

Despite a very rocky end to their regular season, the Michigan Wolverines are back and dancing again after missing out last season. Their opponents, Tulsa, probably shouldn’t have received an invite to the NCAA Tournament, but the Golden Hurricane get the No. 11 seed in the East Region if they can knock off Michigan in the First Four play-in game on Wednesday.

Which team will book a date with Notre Dame in the round of 64? Read on below for our complete preview of this play-in game. Also, don’t forget to check out our preview of Wednesday’s other First Four matchup, Holy Cross vs. Southern.

March Madness News & Predictions

March Madness No. 11 Michigan vs. No. 11 Tulsa Preview

Where: University of Dayton Arena, Dayton

When: Wednesday, March 16, 9:10 PM ET

Line: Michigan Wolverines (-4) vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (+4); total 143.0view all NCAA Basketball lines

TV Broadcast: truTV

Betting on the Michigan Wolverines

Michigan had a disastrous end to the regular season, going just 1-4 in its last five games. However, a surprise Big Ten tournament run, which included a dramatic upset win over regular season champs Indiana, was enough to get Big Blue out of the bubble and into a First Four play-in.


Despite missing star senior Caris LeVert since New Year’s, John Beilein still managed to create a highly-efficient offense in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines were No. 35 in offensive efficiency per KenPom, with six players averaging 6.8-11.7 points per game.

The three-point shot was the Wolverines’ big weapon this season. They were ninth in the country in total threes made, and 30th in three-point percentage (38.4 percent).

Michigan’s excellent three-point shooting matches up very favorably against Tulsa, which was subpar in defending the three-point line this season. The Golden Hurricanes allowed opponents to shoot 36.3 percent from beyond the arc, which ranked 278th in the nation.

Meanwhile, Michigan’s main flaw – rebounding – shouldn’t be exploited by a Tulsa team that finished just 237th on the boards this season.

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Betting on the Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Michigan vs Tulsa Predictions / Picks - March Madness 2016

There’s genuine outrage about Tulsa’s inclusion in the tournament, and rightly so. The Golden Hurricane had an underwhelming year in the American, going 12-6 in conference play and crashing out in the first round of the conference tournament.

They also had some bad losses to the likes of South Carolina as well as Arkansas-Little Rock and Oral Roberts at home during non-conference play. Those really shouldn’t be on a tourney team’s resume. But they’re in, and they have a decent shot at taking that No. 11 seed from Michigan.

Tulsa has a ton of experience on its team; seven of its nine rotation players are seniors. Those seniors know how to play, which is probably a big reason why Tulsa was one of the top teams in the nation in terms of avoiding turnovers and fouls.

Tulsa also has something Michigan doesn’t, which is a go-to guy on offense. In fact, the Golden Hurricane have two, with the senior backcourt of James Woodard and Shaquille Harrison, who led a Tulsa offense that ranked No. 53 in efficiency.

The two combined to average 30 of the team’s 74 points per game, and should be able to carry the offense for stretches against a mediocre Michigan defense that was all the way down in 116th in efficiency.

Writer’s Prediction

Michigan (-4) has enough shooting to edge out Tulsa, 71-66.




Written by Brad

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